International Monetary Fund forecasts stronger global growth

Posted October 11, 2017

The International Monetary Fund singled Britain out as a "notable exception" to an improving global economic outlook on Tuesday, as it cut its forecast for United Kingdom growth and said the long-term negative effects of Brexit were beginning to show.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday pared its growth forecast for India by half a percentage point to 6.7% for 2017, blaming the lingering disruptions caused by demonetisation of high value currencies past year and the roll out of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

"The global recovery is continuing, and at a faster pace", Maurice Obstfeld, IMF economic counsellor and director of research, said at a press conference on the release of the October World Economic Outlook on Tuesday in Washington.

It was only in 2017 that price increases - linked to rising import costs because of the fall in the value of the pound - started to filter through, with the pace of inflation overtaking income growth and hitting household spending. Forecasts for eurozone, Japan, China, emerging markets and Russian Federation were all revised upwards.

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For both years, the outlook is up 0.1 percentage points from the IMF's previous forecast in July and would mark the fastest growth since 2010.

"As I said, the takeaway from my visit is the strong impression of the Korean economy", Lagarde said, stressing that the number shows the performance despite the adverse circumstances it faces, such as geopolitical tensions, 1.9 percent inflation, fiscal surplus and a current account "a bit on the high side".

The report projected India to regain the top spot next year with a 7.4 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate.

In fact, Seoul was not the only country in Asia that has seen its growth outlook revised positively.

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The cut to SA's projected growth puts the IMF's 2017 forecast broadly in line with local economists.

The world's lender of last resort said in its latest World Economic Outlook that Brexit uncertainties were continuing to hold the United Kingdom back - maintaining key figures from its summer downgrade.

Michael Gove, UK environment secretary, has repeatedly criticised the Washington-based International Monetary Fund for predicting that Brexit would hurt the UK economy. Beyond next year, it said that it expects global growth to increase marginally, reaching 3.8 per cent by 2021.

At the same time, a premature exit by the European Central Bank from its easy monetary-policy stance could derail growth in many European countries.

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According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the IMF's positive outlook is based on expectations of improvement in global trade and larger import demand in China.