World Bank: World Bank keeps 2017 global growth forecast at 2.7%

WASHINGTON: World Bank on Sunday maintained its forecast for global growth in 2017 and 2018 unchanged at 2.7 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively, as manufacturing and trade are picking up and confidence is improving.

“A bright spot in the outlook is a recovery in trade growth to 4 per cent (in 2017) after a post-financial crisis low of 2.5 per cent last year,” Xinhua quoted the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report as saying.

The recovery in trade growth in 2017 is supported by stronger demand from major advanced economies, increased trade flows to and from China, and a diminished drag from weak demand from commodity exporters, said the World Bank.

Stronger trade also reflected the improved outlook for global growth. According to the forecast, advanced economies are expected to grow 1.9 per cent in 2017, accelerating from the 1.7 per cent growth in 2016, said the World Bank in its flagship Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report released on Sunday.

However, it expected the advanced economic growth to slow to 1.8 per cent in 2018 and 1.7 per cent in 2019, in line with its forecasts in January.

In emerging market and developing economies, growth is expected to accelerate to 4.1 per cent in 2017 from 3.5 per cent in 2016. The growth is projected to pick up pace in 2018 and 2019, and will reach 4.5 per cent and 4.7 per cent respectively.

“After a prolonged slowdown, recent acceleration in activity in some of the largest emerging markets is a welcome development for growth in their regions and for the global economy,” said Ayhan Kose, director for the GEP program at the World Bank.

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Growth among the world’s seven largest emerging market economies, namely China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and Turkey, is expected to surpass its long-term average by 2018.

“Recovering activity in these economies should have significant positive effects for growth in other emerging and developing economies and globally,” said the report.

World Bank expected Chinese economy to grow 6.5 per cent this year and 6.3 per cent in 2018 and 2019, in line with its forecast in January.

Fiscal support is expected to continue to offset monetary tightening, said the World Bank. It expected government policies will continue to support growth, contain financial risks, and encourage a rebalancing of the economy to more of a focus on consumption.

The US economy is projected to grow 2.1 per cent this year, 0.1 percentage point lower than the World Bank’s forecast in January. However, it raised the forecast for US growth in 2018, up 0.1 percentage point to 2.2 per cent. The growth will again slow to 1.9 percent in 2019, as it moves closer to potential.

Tax cuts and infrastructure programs could lead to stronger-than-expected growth in the short term, but also to a more rapid increase in interest rates.

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