International Monetary Fund sees India GDP growth at 7.4% in 2018, China's at 6.8%

Agence France-Presse

In its report, the IMF o said that economic activity in Europe and Asia was surprisingly stronger than expected a year ago, and global growth in 2017 was now estimated to have reached 3.7 per cent, 0.1 point higher than the Fund projected in October.

The World Economic Forum that is taking place in Davos, Switzerland will tackle the risks associated with the global economy, approaching subjects such as geopolitical tensions and extreme meteorological phenomena.

World output, adjusted for inflation, will grow 3.9% a year in 2018 and 2019, the strongest since 2011, and an upward revision of 0.2 percentage points from the IMF's forecasts in October. Growth in 2017 is forecast to have reached 3.7 per cent, up 0.1 per cent from October's estimates and half a percentage point higher than 2016. Even if the business environment is in a very good position at the moment, due to the most dynamic economic growth in the past seven years, the International Monetary Fund aims at encouraging all global economies to take advantage of these favorable moments in order to come up with proactive measures for preventing any future financial shocks.

But it forecasts growth in the United Kingdom at 1.5% in each of 2018 and 2019, lagging well behind the average pace of fellow advanced economies - having led the pack as recently as 2016. It estimated the Indian gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 6.7 percent in 2017-18, compared to the 6.5 percent figure given by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation. While China held on to its popularity, India moved a up slightly but still trailed Germany and the United Kingdom as an investment destination.

However, according to IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of Research, Maurice Obstfeld, the two biggest national economies driving current and near-term future growth are predictably headed for slower growth.

The US tax policy changes are expected to stimulate activity, with the short-term impact in the US mostly driven by the investment response to the corporate income tax cuts.

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"On the upside, the cyclical rebound could prove stronger in the near term as the pickup in activity and easier financial conditions reinforce each other".

Key emerging market and developing economies, including Brazil, China, and South Africa, also posted third-quarter growth stronger than the fall forecasts.

But the Fund also said Italy's March general election posed a risk to structural reforms.

On the downside, rich asset valuations and very compressed term premiums raise the possibility of a financial market correction, which could dampen growth and confidence.

And the absence of worries in the near term could prompt financial market players to look for riskier and more profitable investments "and amplify the buildup of financial vulnerabilities", the International Monetary Fund warned.

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