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BRICS growth steady but Brazil falters – IMF
January 17, 2017, 11:30 am

Global economic growth will hit 3.4 per cent in 2017, the IMF said, but the world’s second-largest economy will grow by only 6.5 per cent in 2017 [Xinhua]

Global economic growth will hit 3.4 per cent in 2017, the IMF said, but the world’s second-largest economy will grow by only 6.5 per cent in 2017 [Xinhua]

China’s fiscal stimulus has helped edge its GDP growth upward, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday, but India’s domestic consumption retreated in the face of demonetization and pushed economic growth down.

The IMF, which released its World Economic Outlook report on Monday, said that it had revised its forecast upward from 6.2 to 6.5 per cent for China in 2017 but expects its economy to slow to six per cent in 2018.

India’s GDP growth was downgraded from 7.6 to 6.6 for 2016 and from 7.6 to 7.2 per cent in 2017.

The IMF forecast for India is slightly better than one released by the World Bank last week, which scaled back India’s economic growth from 7.6 to 7 per cent.

But the World Bank said that India’s economy is robust enough to bounce back in 2018.

It was good news for fellow BRICS member Russia, as well.

The IMF report upgraded Russian economic growth from 0.8 to 0.6 per cent stagnation in 2016 and forecast growth of 1.1 and 1.2 per cent in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The report is in tandem with statistics released by Russian officials last week.

South Africa’s economy, on the other hand, is expected to grow by 0.8 per cent in 2017, up from a disappointing 0.3 per cent in 2016.

But of all the BRICS members, the outlook for Brazil was the grimmest. In a blow to President Michel Temer’s hope that the country would reopen for business, the IMF report said that it had downgraded 2017 projections down from 0.5 per cent growth to a meager 0.2 per cent.

From a global perspective, the IMF report said that growth in 2016 remains at 3.1 but is projected to rise to 3.4 per cent in 2017, and 3.6 per cent in 2018 barring any economic upheaval possibly brought on by the new US administration.

The IMF revised upward its assessment of the UK economy by 0.4 per cent to 1.5 in 2016 on the back of higher manufacturing and exports.

But it was bad news for many emerging economies in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan region.

Saudia Arabia, for example, will see only 0.4 per cent growth in 2017 compared to 1.4 per cent in 2016, the IMF said. But it is expected to weather the storm and bounce back to 2.3 per cent in 2018.

Oil giant Nigeria’s GDP growth was downgraded from one per cent to 0.8 per cent in 2017.

For the US, the IMF is pinning its forecasts on expected stimulus from the incoming Trump administration. Economic growth in 2017 will be up by 0.1 to 2.3 per cent and up 0.4 to 2.5 per cent in 2018, the IMF said.

Japan’s economy is also revised upward by 0.2 per cent for a 2017 projection of 0.8 per cent growth.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies

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