- Global growth remains subdued. Since the April World Economic Outlook (WEO) report, the United States further increased tariffs on certain Chinese imports and China retaliated by raising tariffs on a subset of US imports. Additional escalation was averted following the June G20 summit. Global technology supply chains were threatened by the prospect of US sanctions, Brexit-related uncertainty continued, and rising geopolitical tensions roiled energy prices.
- Against this backdrop, global growth is forecast at 3.2 percent in 2019, picking up to 3.5 percent in 2020 (0.1 percentage point lower than in the April WEO projections for both years). GDP releases so far this year, together with generally softening inflation, point to weaker-than-anticipated global activity. Investment and demand for consumer durables have been subdued across advanced and emerging market economies as firms and households continue to hold back on long-range spending. Accordingly, global trade, which is intensive in machinery and consumer durables, remains sluggish. The projected growth pickup in 2020 is precarious, presuming stabilization in currently stressed emerging market and developing economies and progress toward resolving trade policy differences.
- Risks to the forecast are mainly to the downside. They include further trade and technology tensions that dent sentiment and slow investment; a protracted increase in risk aversion that exposes the financial vulnerabilities continuing to accumulate after years of low interest rates; and mounting disinflationary pressures that increase debt service difficulties, constrain monetary policy space to counter downturns, and make adverse shocks more persistent than normal.
- Multilateral and national policy actions are vital to place global growth on a stronger footing. The pressing needs include reducing trade and technology tensions and expeditiously resolving uncertainty around trade agreements (including between the United Kingdom and the European Union and the free trade area encompassing Canada, Mexico, and the United States). Specifically, countries should not use tariffs to target bilateral trade balances or as a substitute for dialogue to pressure others for reforms. With subdued final demand and muted inflation, accommodative monetary policy is appropriate in advanced economies, and in emerging market and developing economies where expectations are anchored. Fiscal policy should balance multiple objectives: smoothing demand as needed, protecting the vulnerable, bolstering growth potential with spending that supports structural reforms, and ensuring sustainable public finances over the medium term. If growth weakens relative to the baseline, macroeconomic policies will need to turn more accommodative, depending on country circumstances. Priorities across all economies are to enhance inclusion, strengthen resilience, and address constraints on potential output growth.
To read the original report: Click here