Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Rupee Tumbles After Pakistan Requests IMF Bailout

IMF forecasts India's 2018 growth at 7.3 pc, praises GST, bankruptcy code US dollar soars to Rs134 in interbank market
Laurie Berry | 09 October, 2018, 18:30

Growth in the 19-nation zone is forecast to slow further to 1.9 percent in 2019, unchanged from the July estimate.

The IMF warns that risks highlighted in previous reports "have become more pronounced or have partially materialized" in the real world.

Citing the U.S. tariffs on China and Beijing's retaliatory measures, as well as U.S. President Donald Trump's plan to impose global automobile and parts tariffs, International Monetary Fund chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said he regards "further disruption in trade policies" as major near-term downside risks.

China has responded in kind with its own barrage of levies, rattling nerves especially among other Asian economies and already vulnerable countries like Argentina, Turkey and Brazil.

At its annual meeting in Bali it downgraded its prediction to 3.7% from 3.9% in July.

"Despite the possibility of less political space in some countries. making consensus on sound policies often harder to reach, there won't be a better time than now for further action". Not only will investment and growth suffer but exports will become more competitive due to the enhanced cost of imported ingredients.

Obstfeld said the International Monetary Fund does not see a generalized pullback from emerging markets, nor contagion that will spill over to those emerging economies which have stronger economies and have thus far avoided major outflows, such as some in Asia and some oil and metals exporting countries.

President Erdogan retaliated by slapping United States exports with heavy tariffs, with extra duties on products such as cars, alcohol and tobacco.

"However, further reforms are needed to increase policy certainty, improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises, enhance flexibility in the labor market, improve basic education, and align training with business needs".

After a visit last week, the IMF issued a report saying Pakistan is facing significant economic challenges, with declining growth, high fiscal and current account deficits, and low levels of worldwide reserves.

Death toll tops 1500 in Indonesia natural disaster and tsunami
He earlier said that 120 foreigners were reported to be in the disaster-struck zone, but 119 have been rescued and evacuated. Indonesia has traditionally been reluctant to be seen as having to rely on outside help for natural disasters.

The fund left its 2018 US forecast unchanged but cut its expectation for next year, citing the impact of the trade conflict.

"We'll be listening very attentively when and if they come to us", Obstfeld said.

"Growth is now much more uneven" than six months ago, he told reporters.

The US growth forecast for 2019 is down from 2.7% to 2.5%.

The IMF announced it had reduced its outlook on the global economy to a 3.7% growth rate for this year and next, down 0.2% from what it had originally predicted in July.

The fund urged governments to focus on policies that can share the benefits of growth more widely, helping counter the growing mistrust of institutions, and to avoid "protectionist reactions to structural change".

If the trade war continues, it could take a significant bite out of global growth, according to the fund. The fund downgraded its forecast for USA growth next year to 2.5 per cent, down 0.2 percentage point from July, after factoring in the impact of tariffs imposed by the Trump administration and retaliatory duties by other nations. Instead it now looks like it is going to have to rein in spending and increase taxes.

Pressure on the lira saw inflation rates soar to almost 25 percent in September, marking the highest levels since President Erdogan came to power 15 years ago. Alphabet, Google's parent company, fell 1 percent to $1,155.92.

However, stimulus measures by Beijing are likely to soften the impact of the tariffs.

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