International Monetary Fund raises forecast for United Kingdom economic growth

Ahead of a meeting of world finance chiefs in Washington this week, the International Monetary Fund released on Tuesday its flagship report on the world economy, forecasting the US economy would grow at 2.3% this year and 2.5% in 2018 - a faster pace than last year's 1.6%. Growth will rebound to 4.5 percent in 2018, the report said - close to the government's target in its new budget.

"At the same time, a combination of adverse weather conditions and civil unrest threaten several low-income countries with mass starvation".

Obstfeld said while the world economy may be gaining momentum, the International Monetary Fund could not be sure that SA was out of the woods. It maintained the 2018 growth forecast for those economies unchanged at 2 percent.

The IMF estimated emerging markets and developing economies will grow by 4.5 percent in 2017 and 4.8 percent in 2018, the same forecast as that of January.

Earlier, multilateral lender World Bank forecasted Philippine GDP to grow by 6.9 percent this year, supported by ongoing infrastructure projects, strong consumption, buoyant inflows of remittances, and strong revenue from services exports. "But even as things look up, the post?World War II system of worldwide economic relations is under severe strain despite the aggregate benefits it has delivered - and precisely because growth and the resulting economic adjustments have too often entailed unequal rewards and costs within countries", he said.

Since Trump's election in November, expectations of looser fiscal policy in the U.S. have contributed to a stronger dollar and higher U.S. Treasury interest rates.

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The IMF upgraded its estimate for China's 2017 growth to 6.6 percent from 6.5 percent, which it made in January.

The IMF has admitted that Britain's economy has been stronger than it had expected since last year's vote to leave the European Union and said the challenge now is for the United Kingdom is to successfully navigate that exit and trade deals.

Rich economies are the main source of inward-looking, anti-globalisation sentiment, with the potential of gains for such political ideas still very much open in countries such as France. U.S. President Donald Trump has plans to soften rules for banks as he believes that the current regulation hinders lending to the real economy.

"Output in Nigeria is projected to grow by 0.8% in 2017 as a result of a recovery in oil production", the International Monetary Fund said in the report, also citing sustained growth in the agricultural sector. These could in turn spill over to other countries. The WTO economist said he only sees an acceleration of trade to around 1.5 times the global growth rate.

The U.S. says its policies or threats don't amount to protectionism, but rather are an effort to rebalance distorted trade relationships.

But the IMF, Germany and other nations are anxious that overly-aggressive actions by the US could spark a tit-for-tat trade war that stalls global growth.

  • Toni Ryan