Nusa Dua, Indonesia, Oct 13: The window of opportunity to keep global growth on track is “narrowing” amid trade disputes and emerging markets crises, the IMF said Saturday, and cautioned against currency wars as a US-China spat threatens to boil over.
The warning from the International Monetary Fund came at its annual meeting with the World Bank in Bali, after it cut its outlook for global GDP growth this week by 0.2 percentage points to 3.7 percent for 2018 and 2019.
And the Fund further cautioned that “everyone is going to suffer” from a trade-and-currency clash between the United States and China, the world's two biggest economies.
“Risks are increasingly skewed to the downside amid heightened trade tensions and ongoing geopolitical concerns, with tighter financial conditions particularly affecting many emerging market and developing countries,” the IMF said in a communique.
It added that historically high public debt was also among the red flags that “could further undermine confidence and growth prospects”.
“With the window of opportunity narrowing, we will act promptly to advance policies and reforms to protect the expansion, mitigate risks, rebuild policy space, enhance resilience, and raise medium-term growth prospects for the benefit of all,” the statement said.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin this week said he had told the head of China's central bank about his concerns over the weakness of its currency.
However, he declined to comment on whether Washington would declare Beijing a “currency manipulator” in a Treasury report due out next week.