Monday, 24 September, 2018

OECD Sees Better Outlook, if Trade Escalation Avoided

REUTERS Open this
Laurie Berry | 13 March, 2018, 14:25

While broadly more optimistic than only a few months ago, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development warned a trade war could threaten the outlook, and forecast that United Kingdom growth would lag all G20 countries due to Brexit uncertainties.

Financial markets have been hit by fears of a trade war following U.S. President Donald Trump's move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The higher forecast was in part due to expectations that USA tax cuts would boost economic growth there, it said.

On the likelihood of a backlash against Mr Trump's threatened tariffs, he added: "This could obviously threaten the recovery".

China and Japan were forecast to achieve yearly growth rates of 6.7 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, this year. "Certainly we believe this is a significant risk, so we hope that it doesn't materialise because it would be fairly damaging", Pereira said.

In its interim economic outlook report issued Tuesday, the organization forecast global economic growth for this year at 3.9 percent, up from its previous suggestion of 3.7 percent.

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Against that backdrop, the Federal Reserve would probably have to raise interest rates four times this year as inflation picked up, Pereira said.

"The world economy will continue to strengthen over the next two years", the OECD said.

On Britain, the OECD struck a particularly cautious note, pencilling in growth of only 1.3 per cent this year. In Germany, growth is seen coming it at 2.4 per cent this year and 2.2 per cent next, up from 2.3 per cent and 1.9 per cent previously.

The OECD also revised up its forecasts for Germany and France, but remained gloomy about the prospects for Britain as it approaches the date for Brexit in March 2019.

The eurozone economy will likely see a robust and broad-based expansion, with growth in gross domestic product estimated at 2.3 percent this year and 2.1 percent next year. In its quarterly report, the Paris-based research body said it expects growth to ease off in some of those economies this year, but not by as.

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