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The IMF’s economic forecasts
The fund sees danger in the economic doldrums
IS THERE a global economic crisis on the horizon? Probably not. Is the world in danger of falling into recession? Not soon. Yet the IMF’s latest forecast update, part of its twice-yearly “World Economic Outlook”, is nevertheless resolutely downbeat. Speaking in Washington, DC, the fund’s chief economist, Maurice Obstfeld, outlined yet another set of downgrades to its global GDP growth projections. It is more likely that the next forecast revision will again be down, not up. One of the big risks to the world economy, he said, is from “non-economic risks”, fund-speak for grubby politics. A world economy heading for the growth doldrums, he cautioned, might be a politically perilous place.
The actual forecast numbers are far from horrible. The fund nudged down its global growth projection for 2016 from 3.4% to 3.2%. That is still a shade faster than growth in 2015. The revisions are broad-based: America, Europe and the emerging world as a bloc all saw similar downgrades (see chart). The forecast …
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