Finance minister to attend annual IMF, World Bank meetings

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The IMF expects a 2.9 percent growth outlook on the United States economy, but thinks growth will shrink to 2.5 percent for 2019, attributing to the slowdown to the country's escalating trade war with China.

The IMF expects the USA economy to grow 2.9 per cent this year, the fastest pace since 2005 and unchanged from the July forecast.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the organisation downgraded global economic growth to 3.7% for both 2018 and 2019 - 0.2% lower for both years than had been forecast in April. Rather than rising, growth has plateaued at 3.7 percent.

It maintained a 5.3% growth forecast for the Southeast countries in 2018, but lowered the 2019 estimate slightly to 5.2%.

Asked about the US Treasury official's comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said: "We have no intention of promoting exports through the competitive devaluation of our currency, and will not use the renminbi (yuan) exchange rate as a tool to respond to disputes in trade or other areas". "Growth has proven to be less balanced than we had hoped", said IMF Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld.

The trade deficit has gone up 8.6 percent this year to $31 billion.

But there is no denying that the susceptibility to large global shocks has risen.

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The IMF warned that China's growth even risked declining by a full percentage point by next year in the event of a "worse-case" scenario, involving further tariffs coupled with a collapse in confidence by businesses and markets. "Any sharp reversal for emerging markets would pose a significant threat to advanced economies".

Some energy-rich emerging market countries have fared better due to higher oil prices, with Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation seeing forecast upgrades.

"The impacts of trade policy and uncertainty are becoming evident at the macroeconomic level, while anecdotal evidence accumulates on the resulting harm to companies", the International Monetary Fund said.

But the already tricky transition has been complicated by US President Donald Trump's use of import tariffs to punish China for what he considers predatory trade practices.

United States tariffs on China, and more broadly on auto and auto part imports, may disrupt established supply chains, especially if met by retaliation, it added.

Emerging Asia continued to register strong growth, supported by a domestic demand-led pickup in the Indian economy from a four-year-low pace of expansion in 2017, even as activity in China moderated in the second quarter in response to regulatory tightening of the property sector and nonbank financial intermediation, it added. It also assumes that Trump imposes a 25 per cent tariff on imported cars and auto parts imports.

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