Nigeria's economy performing badly, might decline further in 2019

US / China trade war and Brexit threaten global growth says IMF

For the first time in two years, the International Monetary Fund expressed skepticism for global growth in the coming years as the organization cut its forecast for economic growth in 2018 and 2019, citing escalating trade wars as the prime disruptor.

The worldwide finance agency dropped its projection for world economic growth by two-tenths of a percentage point for both 2018 and 2019 to 3.7 percent, the first time it had trimmed its economic outlook in more than two years.

The US growth forecast was cut by 0.2 percentage points in 2019 tp 2.5pc.

The IMF predicted United Kingdom growth to would be 1.4% in 2018, rising to 1.5% in 2019, while the eurozone 2018 growth forecast was cut to 2.0% from 2.2%.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde confirmed that Pakistan had requested the loans after meeting with Finance Minister Asad Umar in Indonesia, without saying how much the Pakistanis had asked for.

US President Donald Trump recently sanctioned tariffs on an additional United States dollars 200 billion worth of Chinese goods, nearly 15 per cent of China's total exports to the US.

Finance ministers and central bankers from numerous IMF's 189 member nations are meeting in Bali this week with talk of rising protectionism taking centre stage. It cut growth estimates for US, China in 2019 on trade dispute.

That includes President Donald Trump's imposition of tariffs on US$250 billion in Chinese goods, as well as on aluminium, steel and other products worldwide.

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The yuan currency has faced strong selling pressure this year, losing over 8 percent between March and August at the height of market worries, though it has since pared losses as authorities stepped up support.

Finance Minister Umar had informed that foreign reserves need to be boosted by at least $8 billion, while ministry sources said International Monetary Fund could lend up to $10 billion.

Earlier, in April, the Fund expected that the inflation rate in the country would be 7 percent in 2018, 6 percent - in 2019 and 4 percent - in 2023.

The IMF said in a statement last Thursday that Pakistan was in need of significant external financing in the short term, and recommended upping gas and power tariffs while also pushing for exchange rate "flexibility" and monetary policy tightening.

In a report released ahead of the IMF's annual conference, this year held on the Indonesian island of Bali, the fund said that the UK's "pace of fiscal consolidation can be eased if risks materialize and growth slows sharply", an outcome likely in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

It also wants fresh loans from China, which has already invested heavily in roads and the energy sector.

The UK economy is expected to grow by 1.4 percent this year - down from April's prediction of 1.6 percent - while predicted growth for 2019 remains at 1.5 percent, a slowdown from 1.7 percent in 2017.

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