International Monetary Fund projects higher GDP growth for India, maintains global forecast

Reuters

The International Monetary Fund has downgraded its growth forecast for the United Kingdom after weaker-than-expected economic performance at the start of the year.

The revisions mirror primarily macroeconomic implications of changes in policy assumptions for the world's two largest economies, the United States and China, the multilateral agency said.

By contrast, growth projections for 2017 have been revised up for many euro area countries, including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, where growth for the first quarter of 2017 was generally above expectations.

The U.S. dollar pulled back Monday to a near 13-month low as political turmoil dampened hopes for quick passage of President Donald Trump's stimulus and tax reform agendas.

It is revising a higher growth projection for emerging market and developing economies for 2017 at 4.6 per cent and maintaining a projection of 4.8 per cent growth in 2018.

The IMF in June shaved its forecasts for U.S. growth to 2.1 per cent for 2017 and 2018, slightly down from projections three months ago of 2.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent, respectively.

Last year's healthy regional economic performance was mainly attributed to Iran's strong growth estimated at above 6.5 percent because of higher crude production, the International Monetary Fund said.

The report also pointed out that foreign demand for Turkish goods could rise with positive expectations for eurozone countries.

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"However, the outlook for South Africa remains hard, with elevated political uncertainty and weak consumer and business confidence, and the country's growth forecast was consequently marked down for 2018".

"The recent decline in oil prices, if sustained, could weigh further on the outlook for the region's oil exporters", the International Monetary Fund said. The US economy grew 1.6 per cent last year at the slowest pace in five years.

Despite the upbeat worldwide assessment, the forecasts for world growth are still below the average before the 2008 global financial crisis.

The IMF has also warned against strong credit growth that may come with rising downside risk to medium-term growth.

But the global economy was considered to be in a healthier shape.

'Our forecasts are right now that it's a mild negative, because we have a favourably optimistic view of how the negotiations will go.

The US outlook for this year was revised down from 2.3 percent to 2.1 percent.

It raised its 2017 GDP forecast for China to 6.7% from an initial 6.6%, and to 6.4% for next year from 6.2% before, on prospects that continued fiscal support will keep the economy's momentum after a strong start to the year.

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