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Global growth is expected be 3.9% in 2018 and 2019

18 April 2018, 12:28 | Melanie Burgess

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The IMF on Tuesday projected a global growth of 3.9 percent in the next two years due to strong momentum, favourable market sentiment among other factors but warned that any trade disputes threaten to undermine confidence and derail global growth prematurely.

But an unfolding trade war between the United States and China, the world's two biggest economies, could hurt global growth as both countries seek to slap protectionist tariffs that would dampen trade.

The World Bank made a similar prediction in January, saying growth could start flagging in the next couple of years as major economies such as the United States, China and the European Union begin to cool.

The IMF said in its World Economic Outlook that global growth is expected to reach 3.9 percent this year and next, up from 3.8 percent last year.

In the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan region, growth is forecast to rise from 2.6 per cent in 2017 to 3.4 per cent in 2018 and 3.7 per cent in 2019, but it will stabilise at about 3.6 per cent in the medium term.

However, the Fund cautions that the growth "momentum is not assured", given trade tensions between the United States and China and the expected reversal of the positive effects from the USA tax cuts. But it cautioned that the plan "should be part of a broader package of financial reforms to improve the governance of public sector banks, and banks' debt recovery mechanisms should be further enhanced".

"Global interdependence will only continue to grow and unless countries face it in a spirit of collaboration, not conflict, the world economy can not prosper", he said.

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9 per cent for 2018 and 2019.

The sweeping U.S. tax cuts approved in December will fuel higher growth only through next year, the International Monetary Fund said.

Last month, the Trump administration imposed steep tariffs on global steel and aluminum exports to the USA and threatened China with about $100 billion in additional tariffs.

The IMF has also predicted Chinese growth of 6.6% this year, an increase of 0.1% on the last forecast, while Japan is set for growth of 1.2%, a 0.5% uplift.

In January, forecasts from the World Bank and African Development Bank also showed that Ghana would expand the fastest this year. India's projected growth provides some offset to China's gradual slowdown, the International Monetary Fund said.

Overall global growth is forecast at 3.9% this year and next year.

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