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Global growth forecast cut to lowest level since crisis

Trade tensions, rising debt levels and the threat of a mismanaged Brexit have all led the International Monetary Fund to cut its forecast for global growth to its joint lowest level since the financial crisis.

The Times reports that the world growth estimate for 2019 is now 3.3 per cent, down from the 3.5 per cent set out in January.

In 2018, global growth came in at 3.6 per cent, a level the IMF expects the world economy to reach again in 2020.

Ahead of this week’s spring meeting, India, Brazil and Mexico have all had their growth forecasts lowered since the previous January estimates, as well as every advanced economy in the G7 group of nations, with 0.5 percentage points knocked off Germany and Italy.

The UK will be the fourth fastest growing G7 economy on the predictions. The UK’s growth estimate was revised down 0.3 percentage points to 1.2 per cent.

The Times quotes IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath as saying: “One year ago economic activity was accelerating in almost all regions of the world and the global economy was projected to grow at 3.9 per cent in 2018 and 2019.

“One year later, much has changed. The escalation of US-China trade tensions, macroeconomic stress in Argentina and Turkey, disruptions to the auto sector in Germany, tighter credit policies in China and financial tightening in the larger advanced economies have all contributed to a significantly weakened global expansion.”

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