International Monetary Fund downgrades SA's 2018 growth forecast to 0.8%

Pakistan to seek IMF bailout to overcome financial crisis

The warning comes as finance ministers and central bankers from the IMF's 189 member nations prepare to meet this week in Bali for the annual meetings of the fund and its sister institution, the World Bank.

The IMF's analysis suggests that there is a 5 per cent probability, emerging market economies (excluding China) could face debt portfolio outflows of US$100 billion or more over a period of four quarters (equivalent to 0.6 per cent of their combined GDP), broadly similar in magnitude to the Global Financial Crisis. The IMF economist identified the three economies as Nigeria, South Africa and Angola. The 0.2 percentage point downgrade to the 2019 growth forecast is attributable to the negative effect of recent tariff actions, assumed to be partially offset by policy stimulus, it said. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks shed 0.2 percent to 1,629.51. The contract lost 0.1 percent to settle at $74.29 per barrel in NY.

The IMF expects the U.S. economy to grow 2.9 per cent this year, the fastest pace since 2005 and unchanged from the July forecast.

In the latest WEO report, the International Monetary Fund also raised its 2019 inflation projection to four percent from 3.9 percent in the Staff Report for the Philippines, but retained the 4.9 percent projection for this year.

'To gauge the severity of the threats to growth, one must ask how governments could respond if risks are realised and widespread recession ensues.

"Thus, policy makers still have an excellent opportunity to build resilience and implement growth-enhancing reforms".

UBG chairman and FPCCI former president Iftikhar Malik said the IMF programme will come with specific external, fiscal and monetary measures, which will likely result in slowdown in GDP growth to around 4 percent compared to GDP growth of 5.8 percent in FY18, besides further hike in interest rates.

"Considering developments since then, however, that number now appears overoptimistic".

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The World Economic Outlook (WEO) presented twice annually in April and October also marked down the growth projections for the euro area and the United Kingdom, following surprises that suppressed activity in early 2018.

"Near-term risks to global financial stability have increased somewhat", the International Monetary Fund said.

These include instances where some key economies have supported their growth with policies that seem unsustainable over the longer term. "These concerns raise the urgency for policymakers to act".

The repercussions for the United States and China would be particularly severe, with 2019 GDP losses of more than 0.9 percent in the United States and 1.6 percent in China in 2019.

Given a weaker than expected performance in the first half of this year, the growth estimates for the eurozone were revised down 0.2 point to 2.0 percent in 2018. "And in Africa, South Africa", the director said.

The IMF expects the USA economy to continue growing this year at 2.9%, but sees that rate falling to 2.5% next year amid the country's escalating trade war with China. Nigeria's growth is projected to increase from 0.8 per cent in 2017 to 1.9 per cent in 2018 and 2.3 per cent in 2019 (0.4 percentage point higher than in the April 2018 WEO for 2019), buoyed by the impact of recovering oil production and prices.

The American economy has been performing strongly, encouraging global investors to move capital there and invest in the dollar.

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