IMF official warns global growth forecasts could be lowered

IMF official warns global growth forecasts could be lowered

IMF official warns global growth forecasts could be lowered

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). REUTERS Photo

The International Monetary Fund may cut global growth forecasts further in the coming weeks, Financial Counsellor Jose Vinals said on March 10, calling on policymakers to take comprehensive measures to strengthen their economies.

In January, the IMF projected global growth of 3.4 percent in 2016 and 3.6 percent in 2017, having revised down its October forecast for both years by 0.2 percentage point.

“It is very likely that by the time that we arrive at the spring meetings next month there may be a further downward revision in our forecasts,” Vinals said during an event organized by the Reserve Bank of India.

His comments echoed a warning last month from IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, who said the global economy could be derailed unless policymakers took collective action.

“The cost of inaction will be costly in terms of global growth,” Vinals said. 

“I will argue that esteemed policymakers need to adopt urgently more comprehensive and concerted policy action to strengthen growth and manage financial vulnerabilities.”

Expressing concern over China’s slowing growth and highly stressed banks and corporates, Vinals said the deleveraging will be key for global financial stability. But he added that he did not foresee a hard landing for the world’s second-largest economy.

Vinals said India needed to priorities a clean-up of its banks’ balance sheets, while tackling the economy’s debt overhang. He also said potential capital outflows also posed a risk.

Indian banks’ stressed loans are at 13-year high of 8 trillion rupees ($119.12 billion), constraining banks’ ability to lend and boost economic growth.