‘Economic weather is unsettled,’ warns IMF boss

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IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned that the


‘Economic weather is unsettled,’ warns IMF boss as it prepares to slash forecasts for global growth

IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned that the ‘economic weather is unsettled’

The International Monetary Fund is poised to slash its forecasts for the global economy.

Managing director Christine Lagarde warned that the ‘economic weather is unsettled’ with a slowdown in Europe and a trade war between China and the US.

She added the IMF will next week cut its global growth predictions from the expectation of 3.5 per cent for this year and 3.6 per cent for 2020.

The German economy this week showed signs of stalling, with an 8.4 per cent fall in factory orders in February from a year earlier.

And, in the UK, productivity fell by 0.1 per cent in the final three months of 2018 following a 0.2 per cent fall in the previous quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The figures mean workers are producing less output per hour, which will alarm economists because higher productivity creates sustainable wage rises without pushing up inflation.

US data was better with 196,000 jobs added in March and the unemployment rate falling to 3.8 per cent – lows not seen since the late 1960s.

But Lagarde said the IMF still has major concerns about the global situation. She said that 70 per cent of countries will experience a slowdown in growth this year.

Speaking in Washington earlier this week she said ‘the global economy is at a delicate moment’, adding, however, that although a slowdown has begun, a recession is not expected.

 

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