IMF warns of approaching ‘economic storm’ as growth slows globally

IMF Managing Director cited ‘four clouds’ hovering above the global economy

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (AP)

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (AP)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – An “economic storm” looms as global growth fails to meet expectations, the International Monetary Fund warned on Sunday.

In an address at the World Government Summit in Dubai, IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, noted that the economy “is growing more slowly than expected,” reported AFP.

The IMF revised its global growth forecast for 2019 downwards from 3.7 percent to 3.5 percent in the report “World Economic Outlook Update” which was released in January.

Lagarde warned that a storm is imminent, and likely to be triggered by what she called "four clouds" hovering above the global economy. The factors include "trade tensions and tariff escalations, financial tightening, uncertainty related to (the) Brexit outcome and spillover impact, and an accelerated slowdown of the Chinese economy," she remarked.

She elaborated that trade tensions mainly spring from the tariff dispute between China and the U.S., which has taken a serious toll on the global economy, in terms of investor confidence, and markets, wrote AFP.

Lagarde urged nations to be weary of heavy debt from households, private firms, and governments. The IMF director also urged actors to avoid overly protectionist financial moves to address the economic uncertainty.