Sunday, 16 December, 2018

IMF Raises Russia's GDP Growth Forecast to 1.8% in 2019

Punjab CM Usman Buzdar welcoming PM Imran Khan. — PTI Punjab CM Usman Buzdar welcoming PM Imran Khan. — PTI
| 10 October, 2018, 11:01

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.

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, which considers both Tehran and Moscow threats worthy of American sanctions, pulled out of the controversial Iran nuclear deal approved in July 2015 with Russia's help. The IMF talked about continued capital outflows from emerging market economies and pressure on exchange rates because of monetary normalisation in the US. In September, Trump imposed tariffs on almost $200 billion of Chinese imports, with China responding with higher tariffs on about $60 billion of USA imports.

The euro zone's 2018 growth forecast was cut to 2% from 2.2% previously, with Germany particularly hard hit by a drop in manufacturing orders and trade volumes.

The risk of a global financial crisis initiated by sharp capital outflows in emerging markets due to the divergence of monetary policies in the USA and developing countries remains small but will grow as the Federal Reserve continues to raise its interest rates, as it is expected to do this year and next.

Ahsan Mehanti, chief executive of Arif Habib Group, said: "Reports of record PKR1.55 trillion pending circular debt, foreign outflows, uncertainty over the outcome of FATF compliance review meetings on action plans, a record fall in foreign reserves, fears over likely International Monetary Fund policy measures on a further hike in gas and power tariffs, a surge in interest rates and rupee depreciation have played a catalyst role in the record fall".

"There is no denying that the susceptibility to large global shocks has risen", the IMF's top economist Maurice Obstfeld told reporters.

"Considerable progress was made in Russian Federation in recent years to shore up financial stability, including by closing weak banks, introducing reforms to the resolution framework, enacting measures to reduce dollarization, and increasing the risk weights of unsecured consumer and mortgage loans", the International Monetary Fund said.


Russian Federation was among the few energy-rich emerging market countries whose growth forecasts were bumped up.

Trade tensions are expected to continue although Fund officials view U.S. -Mexico-Canada trade agreement as a positive sign.

"Iran and Russian Federation, both faced with U.S. sanctions, have devised plans to increase trade interaction and ease mercantile regulations", Iran's state-run Tasnim News Agency added.

"We will be listening very, very attentively when and if they come to us", said Obstfeld.

"IMF's downgrade just goes to show how the tariff dispute between USA and China is beginning to take its toll on the global economy", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in NY.

The model also includes the effects of a reduction in business confidence that reduces investment and leads to a tightening of financial conditions. Angola, contracting by 0.1 percent this year. It also assumes that Trump imposes a 25 percent tariff on imported cars and auto parts.

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