International Monetary Fund maintains 3-pct growth forecast for S

Posted April 18, 2018

Keeping its growth predictions unchanged for India, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said the country's GDP would grow at 7.4 per cent in 2018 and to further grow to almost 8 per cent in 2019.

The lending agency has kept its forecast for worldwide growth this year at 3.9 percent, which would be its fastest pace since 2011.

Inflation rate in Azerbaijan is expected at 7 percent in 2018 and at 6 percent in 2019, according to the report.

However, the bank said that if reforms are delayed, growth could drop below current levels in an uncertain macroeconomic environment as financing risks rapidly increase and GDP growth could slow to 2 percent.

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But an unfolding trade war between the United States and China, the world's two biggest economies, could hurt global growth as both countries seek to slap protectionist tariffs that would dampen trade.

"Global interdependence will only continue to grow and unless countries face it in a spirit of collaboration, not conflict, the world economy can not prosper", he said.

Meanwhile, IMF Research Director Maurice Obstfeld cautioned that a trade war could put global growth at risk. "However, advancement of the outstanding reforms is critical for reinvigorating economic growth and making it more inclusive", said the International Monetary Fund.

However, the International Monetary Fund warns future growth prospects look challenging for advanced economies faced with ageing populations and low productivity growth, making it hard for household income growth to return to their pre-GFC pace.

"The prospect of trade restrictions and counter-restrictions threatens to undermine confidence and derail global growth prematurely", Obstfeld said.

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Last month, the Trump administration imposed steep tariffs on global steel and aluminum exports to the United States and threatened China with about $100 billion in additional tariffs.

The IMF has also strongly criticised the approach of the Trump administration to trade deficits.

The IMF said the reforms would improve infrastructure in transport and telecommunication sectors to spur growth.

Nigeria, the region's most-populous nation and top crude producer, will grow 2.1%, matching the lender's estimate released in the January 22 update to the outlook, while SA, the world's biggest source of platinum, will expand 1.5%, more than the 0.9% prediction three months ago.

The forecasts for China and India, key drivers of global growth, were unchanged from January.

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