International Monetary Fund foresees stronger China, global growth

The International Monetary Fund lowered its 2017 growth forecast for Egypt, reflecting the economic toll from the government's decision past year to float the pound and introduce a reform program.

The IMF expected the advanced economies to grow by 2 percent this year, 0.1 percentage point higher than its forecast in January.

The Philippines which grew by 6.8 percent previous year has the highest growth projections among ASEAN-5 nations, followed by Vietnam (6.5 percent for 2017), Indonesia (5.1 percent), Malaysia (4.5 percent) and Thailand (three percent).

The IMF bumped up its estimate for Japanese growth to 1.2% this year, an increase of 0.4 percentage point from three months ago.

In contrast, India's growth forecast for the fiscal year 2017 was reduced to 7.2% from 7.6%.

"A dilution of financial regulation may lead to stronger near-term growth but may imperil global financial stability and raise the risk of costly financial crises down the road", the fund said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts 0.8% growth for SA citing a rebound in commodity prices, the dissipation of the drought and the expansions of electricity capacity.

However, the growth forecast for 2018, if correct, would see the United Kingdom fall slightly behind the single currency zone.

According to the updated report, China's 2018 growth rate was revised up by 0.2 point from January to 6.2 percent, but it would mark a further deceleration from an estimated 6.7 percent in 2016.

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'In Washington this week I will be talking to our worldwide partners about how we can carry on increasing global economic growth, with Britain again playing an active and engaged role in the global economy'.

"Public spending is expected to rise, as the fiscal-deficit target has been increased to 3 percent of GDP in 2017 and provide a stimulus to economic activity", Peiris said.

Aside from such policy uncertainty, Obstfeld expressed concern about rising waves of protectionism and growing skepticism of global economic integration, in apparent references to Trump's "America First" agenda and Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

Moreover, the 19-country eurozone is predicted to expand 1.7 percent - the same as a year ago, while Japan's GDP is forecast to grow 1.2 percent, up from one percent in 2016.

Policy actions should also address disinflation in the agriculture sector reforms and improved infrastructure, it said.

"This improvement comes primarily from good economic news for Europe and Asia, as well as our continuing expectation for higher growth this year in the United States".

The fund also reiterated its warnings about the looming threats of protectionism as voters in slow-growing and increasingly unequal Western economies grow more disenchanted with globalisation.

Trump campaigned on an "America First" trade policy, vowing to brand China a currency manipulator and to renegotiate - or tear up - the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

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