Thursday, 18 October, 2018

International Monetary Fund chief to US, China: De-escalate trade dispute, fix trade rules

Prime Minister Imran Khan who came to power after July elections is under pressure to generate external funding as the country faces the latest in a long line of financial blowouts IMF predicts India will grow at 7.3% in 2018-’19
Orlando Vargas | 11 October, 2018, 14:23

Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umer called on International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde on Thursday to formally request the global body for providing financial assistance to cushion the sinking economy of Pakistan.

Lagarde told reporters the Fed's rate hikes were justified by fundamentals.

"Up from India's growth rate of 6.7 per cent in 2016, the growth projections for this year and the next reflect "a rebound from transitory shocks" of demonetisation and the implementation of the national Goods and Services Tax" and "strengthening investment and robust private consumption", WEO said.

"In several key economies, moreover, growth is being supported by policies that seem unsustainable over the long term", he said.

Lagarde also touched on the economic situation in eurozone member Italy, warning Rome that it was well-advised to abide by European Union fiscal rules and adhere to the bloc's financial stability regulations amid concerns that the country's 2019 budget could exacerbate financial problems.

Lagarde said her advice was in three parts: "De-escalate".

But additional tariffs and countermeasures "could lead to a broader tightening of financial conditions, with negative implications for the global economy and financial stability", the fund warned.

The International Monetary Fund is downgrading its outlook for the world economy, citing rising interest rates and growing tensions over trade.

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It said, the prediction is lower due to recent increase in oil prices and the tightening of global financial conditions.

Meanwhile, rising interest rates are also pressuring some emerging markets with capital outflows, notably Argentina, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.

"It's tempting to be a bit depressed about this perspective but I'm actually hopeful because there is a clear appetite to improve and expand trade", she said.

The IMF predicted United Kingdom growth to would be 1.4% in 2018, rising to 1.5% in 2019, while the eurozone 2018 growth forecast was cut to 2.0% from 2.2%.

The announcement followed the highest single-day loss in a decade in the stock market, which plunged by over 1,300 points, losing nearly Rs 270 billion of its capitalisation. The report showed household debt to GDP in China has more than doubled over the past decade to just under 50%, while that of other emerging market economies has remained relatively stable at just under 20%.

The outlook for world trade overall also darkened: The fund expects global trade to grow 4.2 percent this year, down from 5.2 percent in 2017 and from the 4.8 percent it expected in July.

The worldwide organisation downgraded its predictions for global growth this week, and is now forecasting 3.7 percent global growth in both 2018 and 2019.

"We need to join hands to fix the current trade system, not destroy it", she added.

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