IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde warned that the global economy is “increasingly unsettled” after two years of good time. She noted that the the economy has “lost further momentum” since the January forecast and hinted at downgrade in the updated forecast next week. Back in January, IMF projected global growth for 2019 and 2020 at around 3.25%.
Lagarde also said 70% of the global economy will experience a “slowdown” this year. That’s a drastic change from two year ago, when 75% experienced an “upswing”. Though, she still emphasized that “we do not see a recession in the near term”. But there will be pickup in H2 2019 and into 2020.
She outlined three areas of policy actions needed.: (a) Domestic Policies to Build More Resilient and Inclusive Economies; (b) Cross-Border Efforts to Provide a More Level Playing Field; (c) Partnership to Address Global Challenges. In particular, she said tariffs between US and China went up by 25% and “that alone would reduce annual GDP by up to 0.6 percent in the US and by up to 1.5 percent in China.” She urged that “these are potentially self-inflicted wounds that should be avoided.”