International Monetary Fund says not approached by Pakistan for financial assistance

Ahead of the Bali gathering, the International Monetary Fund reviewed its global growth forecast down 0.2 percent to 3.7 percent for 2018 and 2019 - citing trade tensions, protectionism and rising debt levels as the main causes.

"Last April, the world economy's broad-based momentum led us to project a 3.9 per cent growth rate for both this year and next".

The IMF expects a 2.9 percent growth outlook on the U.S. economy, but thinks growth will shrink to 2.5 percent for 2019, attributing to the slowdown to the country's escalating trade war with China.

At the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings news conference in Bali, Maurice said that Pakistan is facing economic deficit due to low reserves.

This is down from its July forecast of 3.9 percent growth for both years.

Tensions have soared in recent months with US President Donald Trump's administration rolling out billions of US dollars in tariffs against China in a bid to tackle its trade deficit and rein in what Washington views as unacceptable trade practices by the Asian giant.

"Today, it was decided that we should start talks with IMF", Finance Minister Asad Umar told GEO TV in an interview on Monday night.

"Nigeria's growth, 1.9 percent this year; 2.3 next year".

Milesi Ferretti, Deputy Director Research said while presenting the report that "the continent could do much better once these economies are on the a more solid footings, particularly South Africa and Nigeria because they are really large and affect a number of countries in their neighbourhood".

"Avoiding protectionist reactions to structural change and finding co-operative solutions that promote continued growth in goods and services trade remains essential to preserve and extend the global expansion", it said. The Fund's analysts point out that the steady recovery, which has been occurring since mid-2016, continues, while the growth of the world economy for 2018-2019 is projected to remain at the 2017 level.

Already the Federal Reserve interest rates hikes are increasing pressure on emerging market economies by fuelling an outflow of capital as investors seek higher returns, while increasing borrowing costs at the same time. Angola, contracting by 0.1% this year.

For the eurozone, slow growth means less reductions in high unemployment rates in several countries and difficulty keeping on top of high debt levels, while Japan needs growth to ward off risky deflation.

The IMF also said that further disruptions in trade policies could occur owing to downside risks from two major impending regional trade arrangements-the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (which awaits legislative approval) and the European Union (with the latter negotiating the terms of Brexit).

  • Wendy Palmer