IMF unmoved by Bank of Canada revisions

Sean Spicer Speaks About China and North Korea

The IMF's latest summary of the prospects for global growth, published Tuesday, predicts that the United Kingdom economy will expand in 2017 by 2 percent, up 0.5 percent from its January forecast.

However, he warned that widespread protectionism within countries and a "competitive race to the bottom" in financial oversight, threatened global growth - "so the world economy may be gaining momentum, but we can not be sure that we are out of the woods", he said.

It came as the International Monetary Fund also lifted forecasts for world growth in its latest World Economic Outlook, stating that "consistently good" news since last summer was "starting to add up to a brightening global outlook".

The IMF expects the US economy to grow 2.3 percent, up from 1.6 percent in 2016; the 19-country eurozone to expand 1.7 percent, the same as previous year; Japan to grow 1.2 percent, up from 1 percent; and China to expand 6.6 percent, down from 6.7 percent in 2016.

"Medium-term growth prospects are favourable, with growth forecast to rise to about eight per cent over the medium term due to the implementation of key reforms, loosening of supply-side bottlenecks, and appropriate fiscal and monetary policies", the report said.

"Thus, there was a small surplus of about a 0.3 percent of GDP during the first half of the fiscal year.", Villafuerte said in the brief report. Also forecast to contract is Kuwait - by 0.2 per cent, compared with a previous forecast of 2.6 per cent growth.

"We project the world economy to grow at a pace of 3.5 percent in 2017, up from 3.1 percent past year, and 3.6 percent in 2018".

The IMF said: "In SA, following the decline in commodity prices and amid perceptions of weakening governance and rising policy uncertainty, economic growth gradually softened and came to a near standstill in 2016".

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the Fund said that chronically weak advanced economies are expected to benefit from a cyclical recovery in global manufacturing and trade that started to gain momentum last summer.

Growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018 were revised upward for Russian Federation, where economic recovery is benefiting from higher oil prices, and China, reflecting stronger than anticipated policy support. "But we can not adopt unreasonable forecasts or build unjustifiable macroeconomic frameworks".

China faces a "daunting challenge of reducing its reliance on credit growth" and the consequences of failing to do so are serious, it added. While this year's growth estimates remain tepid, confidence has risen as the budget deficit has dropped, the currency has gained and inflation has plunged. "Fiscal policy is correctly focused on more inclusive growth by increasing social and infrastructure expenditure, financed with additional borrowing and higher revenue", the International Monetary Fund said.

The IMF's semi-annual report warned of "significant downside risks" to the outlook, which had worsened since January.

In the report, economists say there are many "downside risks" including political pressure to restrict trade, which they argue will hurt rather than help growth.

The US economy is projected to gather steam as a result of expansionary fiscal policy, the report said.

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