International Monetary Fund maintains 3-pct growth forecast for S. Korea

The IMF made only modest changes to its forecasts for the UK. For next year, the forecast has been slightly reduced, to 1.5%.

The report refers to "waning support for global integration".

Risks to the global growth forecasts were broadly balanced for the next few quarters, with the potential for stronger business profits to increase hiring and investments that could boost productivity, the International Monetary Fund said.

Protectionism also affects consumers by making tradable goods more expensive.

That represents a slight downgrade from January's outlook of 2.3 per cent forecast for this year, and it's noticeably less than the strong three per cent growth Canada experienced in 2017.

"US tax reform will subtract momentum starting in 2020", the International Monetary Fund said.

He says the reason for the deficit is that total spending in the U.S. exceeds income.

He said Donald Trump's tax cuts would suck imports into the United States and increase the size of the trade deficit 2019 by $150bn - a trend that could exacerbate trade tensions.

Former FBI Director James Comey opens up in interview
Comey writes that Trump is "ego-driven and about personal loyalty", going on to compare him to a mafia boss who demands loyalty. So far, 19 people — including Flynn and Trumps former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort —have been charged in the investigation.

The general thrust of this report is relatively upbeat for the near-term future.

With growth picking up after falling sharply in the second quarter of 2017 due to "one-off factors", India in 2018 and 2019 would re-emerge as one of the fastest growing major economies, it said.

Mr Obstfeld describes the upgrade from 3.7% as "substantial".

Southeast Asia's booming economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam will collectively maintain growth above five percent this year and next, the fund said.

For the United Kingdom, the report says that unemployment close to historic lows could add to inflationary pressures, by triggering faster wage growth.

In India spiraling bad debt forced the government to recapitalize state-owned banks to the tune of $32 billion in October to help them clean up their books.

"The prospect of trade restrictions and counter-restrictions threatens to undermine confidence and derail global growth prematurely", Obstfeld said. "Once their output gaps close, most advanced economies are poised to return to potential growth rates well below pre-crisis averages, held back by aging populations and lackluster productivity". Compared to the January WEO report, the forecasts for the economy growth of the CIS member countries remained unchanged. Romania's current account balance showed a deficit of 172 million euro ($212 million) in the first two months of 2018, compared to a surplus of 72 million euro in the same period of past year.

Debt levels - private and government - are very high.

Related Articles