Monday, January 25, 2016

IMF Cuts Global Growth Forecast As China Growth Slows

IMF

IMF Cuts Forecast of Global Growth


Recently the International Monetary Fund – IMF had cut its forecasts of global growth for the third time in less than a year, as the new figures from Beijing indicated that the Chinese economy in 2015, had been at its slowest rate in a quarter of a century. The IMF, to support its forecasts had cited a sharp slowdown in China trade and weak product prices which were hammering Brazil together with the other emerging markets.

 The Fund had forecast that the world economy would tend to grow at 3.4% towards 2016and 3.6% in 2017; both the years would be down by 0.2% point from the earlier estimates made last October. It has stated that policymakers need to consider means of bolstering short-term demand.

The updated forecast of the World Economic Outlook came as global financial markets were shaken by worries over the slowdown of China as confirmed by official Chinese data on Tuesday together with the plunging oil prices. IMF had maintained its earlier China growth forecasts of 6.3% in 2016 and 6.0% in 2017 representing sharp slowdowns from 2015.

Concern over Beijing’s Hold on Economic Policy


According to China’s report, growth for 2015 had hit 6.9% after a year wherein the world’s second biggest economy had suffered huge capital outflows, a slip in the currency as well as summer stock market crash. There was a rise in shares in Europeand Asia and the dollar gained after the China data had been released, while investors expected greater effort by Beijing to spur growth.

 There was concern over Beijing’s hold on economic policy which had shot to the top of global investors’ risk list for the year 2016 after drop in its stock markets as well as the Yuan fuelled worries that the economy would be quickly weakening.

The Fund also mentioned that a steeper slowing of demand in China seemed to be a risk to the global growth. The weaker than expected Chines imports as well as exports had been weighing heavily on the other emerging markets as well as commodity exporters.

Major Risk Aversion/Currency Depreciation/Dollar Appreciation


Maurice Obstfeld, IMF economic counsellor had mentioned in a videotaped statement that `they do not see a big change in the fundamentals in China compared to what is was seen six months ago though the markets are certainly very spooked by small events there that they find it hard to interpret’ He further added that the global financial markets seems to be overreacting to the oil prices drop as well as the risk of a sharp downturn in China and it was critical that China is clear about its overall economic strategy inclusive of its currency.

At a news conference Obstfeld had stated that `it is not a stretch to suggest that markets may be responding very strongly to rather small bits of evidence in an environment of volatility and risk aversion. The oil price puts strains on oil exporters, but there is a silver lining for consumers worldwide, so it is not an unmitigated negative’.

The IMF report states that continued market upheaval would also tend to help in dragging growth lower if it heads to major risk aversion and currency depreciation in the emerging markets. Besides this, other risk would comprise of further dollar appreciation and acceleration of geopolitical tensions.

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