International Monetary Fund says global economy will slow after 2019 on escalating trade tensions

Vitor Gaspar head of the IMF’s fiscal affairs department told Bloomberg in an interview

Vitor Gaspar head of the IMF’s fiscal affairs department told Bloomberg in an interview

"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. Sub-Saharan Africa's economy is expected to grow 3.4 percent this year, up from 2.8 percent in 2017.

According to the IMF's World Economic Outlook (WEO) report, the country's economic growth is expected to be 7.8 per cent in 2019.

The global smartphone boom that's helped propel Asia's economic growth and reshape trade channels in recent years may have peaked. The latest forecast is unchanged, "with the short-term firming of growth driven by a recovery from the transitory effects of the currency exchange initiative and implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, and supported by strong private consumption growth", the WEO said.

In addition, the International Monetary Fund significantly improved the forecasts regarding the current account of Azerbaijan's balance of payments. The U.S. economy will benefit through 2020 from tax cuts that President Donald Trump signed into law in December, the International Monetary Fund predicts.

Unemployment is expected to hold steady at 4.2 percent through 2019, while the balance of payments will continue to be positive, with surpluses of 2.6 percent of GDP in 2018 and 2.7 percent in 2019.

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The IMF urged countries to take advantage of the rise in economic growth levels in the near-term to enact policies and reforms which will strengthen "the potential for higher and more inclusive growth" and to build buffers ahead of the next downturn, including improving financial systems and increasing worldwide cooperation.

US President Donald Trump last month imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and threatened to impose more on tens of billions of Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to respond in an escalating series of threats.

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

Speaking at the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings in Washington DC, Mr. Maurice Obstfeld, Economic Counselor and Director of the Research Department at the IMF, said the 44-country African Continental Free Trade Area promises to bolster African economies. Growth in 2019 was lowered to 1.9 per cent from 2.2 per cent in the January forecast. Japanese economic growth is forecast to decelerate to 1.2 percent from 1.7 percent in 2017.

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