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International Monetary Fund forecasts growth of less than 1% for SA in 2017

International Monetary Fund forecasts growth of less than 1% for SA in 2017

The International Monetary Fund has raised its United Kingdom growth forecast for the second time this year - with the economy set to grow faster than Germany and France this year.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund said it now expects the British economy to grow by 2% in 2017, up from January's forecast of 1.5%. The IMF's latest outlook for 2017 is a slight upgrade from the 3.4 per cent global growth it had forecast in January.

However, Obstfeld noted, a number of countries will continue to struggle as a result of low commodity prices, extreme weather or unrest.

"The world economy may be gaining momentum, but we can not be sure that we are out of the woods", said Obstfeld.

IHS Markit forecast the Philippine economy to grow 6.3 percent, citing the information technology and business process outsourcing industry and remittances from workers overseas as two key growth engines. Its 2018 prediction was for 6.2 percent growth, up two tenths.

The Washington-based organization continues to estimate Canada's gross domestic product will grow by 1.9 per cent this year, unchanged from its previous forecast.

The IMF said it cut its forecast for Arabian Gulf oil producers' economic growth this year, as their output restraint deal is expected to wipe out any gains from higher oil prices in terms of government revenue. "These actions would strengthen the transmission of monetary policy accommodation to the real economy and facilitate the consolidation and restructuring of the banking sector", the IMF said in its report.

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Obstfeld said whether the current momentum will be sustained remains a question mark, but said there are clearly upside possibilities.

Moreover, spillovers from slower growth in China or higher global financial volatility should be manageable for the Philippines because of its strong economic fundamentals, ample policy space, and limited trade and financial linkages with China, Peiris said.

He warned that if the degree of remaining slack in the US economy is small, the result could be inflation and a faster than expected pace of interest-rate rises, that could spark sharp dollar appreciation and possible difficulties for emerging and some developing economies-especially those with dollar pegs or extensive dollar-denominated liabilities. These could in turn spill over to other countries. Projected global growth is set to rise to 3.5% from 3.1%.

Threats to global trade and integration, however, were given the most emphasis by Obstfeld.

The IMF also said that if the Federal Reserve decides to raise rates at a faster pace, there will be a sharp dollar appreciation, which could hurt emerging economies.

Economic growth in China, the world's second largest economy, has also come at a cost of an unprecedented credit buildup that many economists warn could mean much weaker growth ahead and even financial turmoil.

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