Tariff war taking a toll on global growth

Pakistan       by Usman Arshad | Published

In 2017, India had clocked a 6.7 per cent growth rate.

While Nigeria will grow from 1.9 per cent in 2018 to 2.3 percent in 2019, South Africa and Angola were projected to move from 0.8 to 1.4 and -0.1 to 3.1 per cents respectively, the International Monetary Fund said yesterday.

This acceleration, the world body said, reflected a rebound from transitory shocks (the currency exchange initiative and implementation of the GST), with strengthening investment and robust private consumption.

The IMF warned of a permanent hit to growth if the USA goes ahead with a threat to impose a 25 percent tariff on all imported cars. Furthermore, China's debt to GDP ratio increased by around 100 percentage points, indicating border-lining financial crisis.

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast the GDP growth in Azerbaijan by 1.3 percent in 2018.

The IMF issues the report ahead of the Annual IMF and World Bank meetings where world leaders, finance ministers and nongovernmental organizations will gather this week in Bali, Indonesia.

Both of those figures would mark the slowest rate of expansion for China since 1990, when growth shuddered in the aftermath of the violent suppression of massive Tiananmen Square pro-democracy demonstrations the previous year.

China will achieve its growth target this year, and debt levels in the economy have stabilized, People's Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Yi Gang said in an exclusive interview with Caixin. On the other hand, economic growth in China will drop below five percent in 2019 compared with a current prediction of 6.2 percent.

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Mr Milesi-Ferretti noted Nigeria's (economic) growth of about 1.9 per cent this year to rise to about 2.3 in 2019, with South African economy, now in technical recession at only 0.8 per cent growth rate this year. The IMF called for reforms in labour and land markets in the country, as well as improving the business climate.

"Priority areas in Russian Federation include improving property rights and governance, enhancing the institutional infrastructure, reforming labor markets, and investing in innovation and infrastructure", the report added. In India, a high-interest burden and risks from rising yields require continued focus on debt reduction to establish policy credibility and build buffers.

Global trade is projected to expand by 4.2 percent this year - 0.6 percent less than expected in July - dropping to 4 percent next year.

Speaking to journalists in Bali, the Deputy Director, Research, IMF, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, said the largest economies on the continent were holding down economic development in Africa as a result of poor growth rate.

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At the briefing, Obstfeld said that "close to a percentage point" could be shaved off of global growth if the trade rift continues.

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