IMF cuts global growth outlook, calls for accommodative policy

Tue Jan 20, 2015 8:05am EST
 
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By Jake Spring

BEIJING (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund lowered its forecast for global economic growth in 2015, and called on Tuesday for governments and central banks to pursue accommodative monetary policies and structural reforms to support growth.

Global growth is projected at 3.5 percent for 2015 and 3.7 percent for 2016, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report, lowering its forecast by 0.3 percentage points for both years.

"New factors supporting growth, lower oil prices, but also depreciation of euro and yen, are more than offset by persistent negative forces, including the lingering legacies of the crisis and lower potential growth in many countries," Olivier Blanchard, the IMF's chief economist, said in a statement.

The IMF advised advanced economies to maintain accommodative monetary policies to avoid increasing real interest rates as cheaper oil heightens the risk of deflation.

If policy rates could not be reduced further, the IMF recommended pursuing an accommodative policy "through other means".

The United States was the lone bright spot in an otherwise gloomy report for major economies, with its projected growth raised to 3.6 percent from 3.1 percent for 2015.

The United States largely offset prospects of more weakness in the euro area, where only Spain's growth was adjusted upward.

Projections for emerging economies were also broadly cut back, with the outlook for oil exporters Russia, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia worsening the most.   Continued...

 
Labourers work at a construction site for a new commercial building in Beijing January 19, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon