Tuesday, 7 December 2021

IMF sees trade, debt as threats to global growth

Pedestrians walk past the International Monetary Fund headquarters' complex in Washington Sunday, May 2, 2010. A senior International Monetary Fund official says the IMF's executive board is meeting in Washington to consider how much aid to grant Athens under a massive rescue loan package. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

File Photo (AP/Cliff Owen)

WASHINGTON: The global growth outlook faces rising threats from trade tensions and mounting debt despite a strengthening and “increasingly broad-based” expansion at the moment, according to a statement from world finance ministers and central bankers.

“Risks are broadly balanced in the near term, but remain skewed to the downside beyond the next several quarters,” according to a communique by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) main advisory committee, released on Saturday in Washington.

“Rising financial vulnerabilities, increasing trade and geopolitical tensions, and historically high global debt threaten global growth prospects.”

The concerns reflect what the IMF flagged last week in its updated World Economic Outlook. The fund left its forecasts for global growth at 3.9% for this year and next, while warning that threats over trade could derail the strongest upswing since 2011.

It also cautioned about the recordhigh US$164 trillion (RM639.19 trillion) in world debt.

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