IMF Forecasts 3.3 Percent Israel Economic Growth 2018

CHINA-ECONOMY-IMF

Christine Lagarde is head of the International Monetary Fund

The study shows that a year ago, global smartphone sales stood at close to 1.5 billions - or one for every five people on the planet. It may be noted that the International Monetary Fund also kept unchanged the global growth forecasts for 2018 and 2019 at 3.9 per cent.

The IMF said that, despite the economic expansion going forward, there are downside risks such as growing protectionism and geopolitical tensions in East Asia and the Middle East.

The World Bank made a similar prediction in January, saying growth could start flagging in the next couple of years as major economies such as the United States, China and the European Union begin to cool.

After experiencing 1.3% economic growth in 2017, amid a hard economic climate, the International Monetary Fund pencilled in 1.5% growth in 2018 and 1.7% in 2019.

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However, the Fund cautions that the growth "momentum is not assured", given trade tensions between the United States and China and the expected reversal of the positive effects from the U.S. tax cuts.

"US tax reform will subtract momentum starting in 2020, and then more strongly" in 2023 as some of the investment provisions kick in.

"The growth rate in China is projected to soften down during this period", it said, adding that over the medium term, its economy is projected to continue re-balancing away from investment toward private consumption and from industry to services, but nonfinancial debt is expected to continue rising as a share of GDP, and the accumulation of vulnerabilities clouds the medium-term outlook.

Rather than lower the trade deficit, as Trump has called for, the USA trade actions could expand it by $150 billion by 2019, he said.

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It urges countries with excess current account surpluses and fiscal space - notably Germany - to increase public investment to boost potential growth and demand.

While iPhones aren't physically exported from Ireland, the gadget giant's intellectual property is based here, which has led the authors of a report into smartphones and global trade to estimate that in value-added terms, iPhone exports accounted for 25 per cent of the Irish economy's growth in 2017.

Last month, the Trump administration imposed steep tariffs on global steel and aluminum exports to the USA and threatened China with about $100 billion in additional tariffs.

The IMF upgraded its forecast for the 19-country eurozone to 2.4 percent — which would be its best showing since 2007 — and up from the 2.2 percent it predicted three months ago.

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The UAE is forecasting growth of 3.6 to 3.9 per cent for this year.

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