International Monetary Fund revises medium-term growth rate downward

Punjab CM Usman Buzdar welcoming PM Imran Khan. — PTI

Bond markets were closed, leading US indexes to a mixed finish after a day of light trading.

Khan's decision came after the Pakistani stock markets tumbled by 3.4 percent on Monday after Khan said the day before that he was still exploring options outside the International Monetary Fund.

"There are clouds on the horizon".

Maurice Obstfeld, IMF chief economist, said: "US growth will decline once parts of its fiscal stimulus go into reverse".

The US growth forecast for 2019 is down from 2.7% to 2.5%.

The IMF issues the report ahead of the Annual IMF and World Bank meetings where world leaders, finance ministers and nongovernmental organizations will gather this week in Bali, Indonesia.

If the trade war continues, it could take a significant bite out of global growth, according to the fund. However, the RBI pegged India's growth projections at 7.5 per cent.

The IMF's cut to its outlook was broad-based.

The UK economy is expected to grow by 1.4 percent this year - down from April's prediction of 1.6 percent - while predicted growth for 2019 remains at 1.5 percent, a slowdown from 1.7 percent in 2017. It left its US growth projection for this year at 2.9 per cent.

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The latest of these exchanges saw US President Donald Trump impose a 10 percent tariff on $200 billion (£153 billion) worth of Chinese goods in September, which would increase to 25 percent by the end of 2018.

Citing the U.S. tariffs on China and Beijing's retaliatory measures, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to impose global automobile and parts tariffs, International Monetary Fund chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said he regards "further disruption in trade policies" as major near-term downside risks.

The IMF warned that China's growth even risked declining by a full percentage point by next year in the event of a "worse-case" scenario, involving further tariffs coupled with a collapse in confidence by businesses and markets.

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.

Italian government bond yields rose to a 4 1/2-year high of 3.71 per cent after Economy Minister Giovanni Tria's address to parliament on the government's budget plans did little to reassure nervous investors.

Several emerging markets had their forecasts cut, including Argentina, Brazil, Iran and Turkey, reflecting factors including tighter credit.

The report said: "In the United Kingdom, where the output gap is closed and unemployment is low, a modest tightening of monetary policy may be warranted, although at a time of heightened uncertainty, monetary policy should remain flexible in response to changing conditions associated with the Brexit negotiations".

"Growth performance varies, however, across countries". The acceleration relative to 2016-17 reflects a more supportive external environment, including stronger global growth, higher commodity prices, and improved capital market access, following efforts to improve fiscal balances in the aftermath of the commodity price slump.

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