International Monetary Fund cuts India growth forecast for 2019-20 to 7.3 per cent

Donald Trump trade war IMF

'This is a delicate moment for the global economy, ' Gita Gopinath, the IMF's chief economist, said at a news conference, while cautioning that the fund does not foresee an worldwide recession.

She said, "For Nigeria, what's very important is the oil price". The IMF raised its forecast for USA growth in 2020 by a tenth of a percentage point to 1.9 per cent.

Economists at the International Monetary Fund downgraded their growth forecast for the U.S.in 2019 to 2.3 percent, down from 2.9 percent in 2018.

"With improvements expected in the second half of 2019, global economic growth in 2020 is projected to return to 3.6 percent".

The outlook partly reflects brighter prospects for trade negotiations between China and the United States.

The country's stimulus-boosted private sector is on track to lead the economy to a "self-sustained recovery" that could see growth hit 6.6 percent this year, it said.

While government in the 2019 budget is projecting an overall growth of 7 per cent, the International Monetary Fund believes Ghana would end the year with higher growth than what the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta has outlined for this year.

Also, the convergence prospects are bleak for some emerging market and developing economies.

It maintained its projections for Saudi Arabia, saying the region's leading economy is expected to grow by a muted 1.8 percent this year and 2.1 percent in 2020.

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With the Indian economy projected to slow down further in the fiscal fourth quarter, the central bank's focus has shifted from inflationary concerns to sustaining the growth momentum.

Following a technical recession in 2018, most forecasts were revised down from the 1.2%-1.5% range, as the economic realities set in despite upbeat talk around political change in the country. A similar pattern holds for low-income countries with some, particularly commodity importers, growing rapidly but others falling further behind the advanced world in per capita terms.

On a monthly measure, the economy grew by 0.2%, faster than the 0% forecast.

The outlook for Germany, one of the main drivers of European growth, suffered from weaker demand for its exports, softer consumer spending and new emissions standards that have depressed auto sales.

Other suggestions for India in the outlook include improving the governance of public sector banks; reforms to hiring and dismissal regulations to incentivise job creation and absorb the country's large demographic dividend; and land reform to facilitate and expedite infrastructure development.

In the near term, continued fiscal consolidation is needed to bring down India's elevated public debt.

"There is a need for greater multilateral cooperation to resolve trade conflicts, to address climate change and risks from cybersecurity, and to improve the effectiveness of global taxation", she said. If the downside risks do not materialize and the policy support put in place is effective, global growth should rebound. "In that case, policymakers will need to adjust", she added.

Conditions have eased in 2019 as the US Federal Reserve signalled a more accommodative monetary policy stance and markets became more optimistic about a US-China trade deal, but they remain slightly more restrictive than in the fall. "Lastly, adequate resources for multilateral institutions remain essential to retain an effective global safety net, which would help stabilize the global economy".

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