The IMF again downgrades outlook for the global economy

Pakistan to seek IMF bailout to overcome financial crisis

It left 2018 growth forecasts for the two countries unchanged at 2.9 percent for the US and 6.6 percent for China.

"Historically, Pakistan has achieved 3 to 3.5 percent growth rate in the first two to three years whenever we availed the International Monetary Fund program", Aslam said, adding: "It would be a big achievement if we maintain growth at 3.5 percent".

This acceleration reflected a rebound from transitory shocks (demonetisation and implementation of the GST), with strengthening investment and robust private consumption, it said. China was the fastest-growing economy in 2017. That's a significant downgrade from the IMF's assessment in April, when it projected a 3.9 percent growth rate.

"Although risks are balanced, uncertainty remains substantial around the baseline assumptions for oil prices because Saudi Arabia's spare capacity is shrinking and USA sanctions against Iran will both weigh on Iran's oil production prospects in the medium term and reduce Iran's crude exports in the short term, requiring others with spare production capacity to step in".

"Owing to these changes, our worldwide growth projections for both this year and next are downgraded to 3.7 per cent, 0.2 percentage point below our last assessments and the same rate achieved in 2017", the report said.

It kept the 7.3 per cent growth projection for this year made in July. Real GDP growth was recorded at 2.6 percent in 2010, 3.6 percent in 2011, 3.8 percent in 2012, 3.7 percent in 2013, 4.1 percent each in 2014 and 2015, 4.6 percent in 2016 and 5.4 percent in 2017.

"We are concerned about the downturn in economic growth", noted Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte.

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The euro area will expand 2 per cent this year, down 0.2 point from July, as a result of weaker-than-expected growth in the first half of the year.

The financial market volatility will likely continue next year, because the US Federal Reserve, after raising the federal funds rate by 25 basis points in its September 26 meeting, nonetheless signaled another rate hike by the end of this year and maintained its projection for three rate hikes in 2019.

"However, further reforms are needed to increase policy certainty, improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises, enhance flexibility in the labour market, improve basic education, and align training with business needs", it stated.

The IMF also risks associated with high corporate debt, rising nonperforming loans and too much public debt overall. "These efforts should be supported by further reductions in subsidies and enhanced compliance with the Goods and Services Tax".

In addition to the trade barriers, the International Monetary Fund said higher interest rates are also contributing to slowed economic growth.

If pressures on emerging market economies were to broaden and intensify, financial stability risks would increase significantly, he said.

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