World News

International Monetary Fund cuts South Africa growth forecasts as politics takes it toll

International Monetary Fund cuts South Africa growth forecasts as politics takes it toll

In the October update of its "World Economic Outlook" report, the International Monetary Fund said the Philippine economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), would still grow by 6.6 percent this year, "partly because of stronger-than-expected external demand from China and Europe".

"The small downward revision for the 2018 growth forecast to 6.7 percent is in line with a steady growth path, given the likely growth outcome for 2017", IMF Resident Representative to the Philippines Yongzheng Yang told reporters in an e-mail.

The figures are slightly higher than the previous prognosis in July of 1.4 percent growth in both 2017 and 2018.

"We see an accelerating cyclical upswing boosting Europe, China, Japan and the United States, as well as emerging Asia", he said.

"The UK, where the strong depreciation of the pound since last summer has passed through into higher consumer prices, is an exception to this pattern [of low inflation in other countries]".

The official said on Monday that a meeting of economic policymakers in Washington for this week's International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings was a good opportunity to look back at the priorities of Germany's G20 presidency.

In contrast, compared with the April 2017 WEO forecast, growth has been marked down for 2017 in the United Kingdom and for both 2017 and 2018 in the USA, implying a 0.1 percentage-point aggregate growth downgrade for advanced economies in 2018.

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China has been projected to grow at 6.8 percent during the current year. India's GDP growth slumped to a three-year low of 5.7% in the June quarter, triggering downgrades in estimates for the full fiscal year.

The GST, which promises the unification of India's vast domestic market, is among several key structural reforms under implementation that are expected to help push growth above eight per cent in the medium term, the report said.

"A closer look suggests that the global recovery may not be sustainable" and neither policy makers nor markets should be "lulled into complacency", warned Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF's chief economist, in a note accompanying the forecast.

The Fund had already cut its 2017 forecast by 0.3 percentage points in July from April and left its latest forecast unchanged.

With UK growth projected at 1.7% this year, it will only surpass a handful of its peers, with Italy expected to grow 1.5%, France 1.6% and Japan 1.5%. Beyond next year, it said that it expects global growth to increase marginally, reaching 3.8 per cent by 2021.

According to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the IMF's positive outlook is based on expectations of improvement in global trade and larger import demand in China.


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