Friday 19 April, 2019

IMF forecast: Global growth will weaken this year to 3.3%

Deputy Director of Research Department at the IMF, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, center, accompanied by Chief Economist and Director of Research Department at the IMF Gita Gopinath, right and Chief of Research Department at the IMF Oya Celasun, left, speaks during a news conference at the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Deputy Director of Research Department at the IMF, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, center, accompanied by Chief Economist and Director of Research Department at the IMF Gita Gopinath, right and Chief of Research Department at the IMF Oya Celasun, left, speaks during a news conference at the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, in Washington, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

The International Monetary Fund is downgrading its outlook for growth in the United States, Europe, Japan and the overall global economy and points to heightened trade tensions as a key reason.

The IMF expects the world economy to grow 3.3% this year, down from 3.6% in 2018. That would match 2016 for the weakest year since 2009. In its previous forecast in January, the IMF had predicted that international growth would reach 3.5% this year.

For the United States, IMF economists downgraded their growth forecast for this year to 2.3% from 2.9% in 2018.

The IMF's World Economic Outlook comes on the eve of meetings in Washington this week of the fund and its sister lending organization, the World Bank.

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