The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, said today that the world economy has continued to lose "momentum" in the first quarter of the year, which will reduce global prospects below the estimated 3.5% for this year.
«In January, the IMF projected global growth for 2019 and 2020 of around 3.5%, lower than we have seen in recent times (...) Since then, growth has continued to lose momentum, "Lagarde explained in a speech at the US Chamber of Commerce.
"Only two years ago, 75% of the world economy experienced a rebound. This year, we anticipate that the 70% of the world economy experience a slowdown", Remarked the managing director of the Fund, one week before the institution published its new global forecasts in the framework of its joint spring meeting with the World Bank (WB).
As a cause of this global slowdown, Lagarde pointed out "to increase in commercial tensions and the tightening of financial conditions in the second half of 2018 ».
Specifically, he referred to the trade dispute between the United States and China, triggered by the aggressive protectionism agenda launched by US President Donald Trump, which has led to the increase of tariffs on hundreds of Chinese products and similar reprisals by of Beijing. «We know that trade barriers are not the answer (...). These are wounds that can self-inflict and should be avoided, "he said.
And he gave as an example that, according to the calculations of the Fund, if the tariffs on all the goods exchanged between the United States and China increased by 25 percentage points, annual GDP would be reduced by one year. 0.6% in the US and 1.5% in China.
During its meeting next week in the US capital, the IMF and World Bank will bring together the main economic leaders of its 189 member countries to analyze global challenges and threats.