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UAE to outpace regional growth, says International Monetary Fund

11 October 2017, 12:29 | Darnell Patrick

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Getty Images

Its latest World Economic Outlook predicts strengthening economic growth globally, building on healthy data from the first half of 2017.

The International Monetary Fund has cut its official outlook for United Kingdom economic growth this year, citing a slump in private consumption and a dramatic tumble in the value of the pound weighing on household spending.

"A closer look suggests that the global recovery may not be sustainable" and neither policy makers nor markets should be "lulled into complacency", warned Maurice Obstfeld, the IMF's chief economist, in a note accompanying the forecast.

Another emerging economy with an outstanding forecast is Brazil, which is expected to experience healthy growth, despite suffering political turmoil this year. With growth outcomes in the first half of 2017 generally stronger than expected, upward revisions to growth are broad based, including for the eurozone, Japan, China, emerging Europe, and Russian Federation.

This year's growth projection is 0.5 percentage points less than its previous two forecasts in April and July, attributing it to demonetisation and introduction of the GST. The global lending agency also notes that inflation remains worryingly low, a sign that the world economy still has not returned to full health in the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

The IMF said it expected South Africa's economy to grow by 0.7 percent this year, down from an earlier projection of 1 percent given in July.

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Mena growth as a whole is projected to more than halve in 2017, from 5.1 per cent to 2.2 per cent, "on the back of a slowdown in the Islamic Republic of Iran's economy after very fast growth in 2016 and cuts in oil production in oil exporters", the International Monetary Fund said.

There are a small number of downgrades as well, however, and they are substantial in the case of India, because of the lingering effects of a currency exchange a year ago and uncertainty associated with a new tax. Growth is forecast to be 1.7 per cent this year and 1.5 per cent next. For next year it was projected at 3.7 percent. It said that it had revised that figure due to weaker-than-expected growth during the first two quarters of the year.

Projected growth rates for China have been upgraded all the way to 2022, on the assumption that the Chinese Communist Party maintains its current economic policies.

In its monetary policy review last week, the Reserve Bank of India kept its policy rates unchanged and marginally raised its inflation forecast for rest of the year.

The IMF is also backing Germany's G20 initiative to improve conditions for private investments in African countries, dubbed Compact with Africa, the official said, adding that the number of participating African countries would rise to ten from seven.



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