The International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut global growth projections on Monday, citing negative surprises in a few emerging markets, notably in India, and increased social unrest, but added that global growth may be bottoming out. Global economic growth is now projected to rise from an estimated 2.9 percent in 2019 to 3.3 percent in 2020 and 3.4 percent for 2021 — a downward revision of 0.1 percentage point for 2019 and 2020, and 0.2 percentage point for 2021, compared to those published in the IMF’s October World Economic Outlook.
Trade policy uncertainty, geopolitical tensions and idiosyncratic stress in key emerging market economies continued to weigh on global economic activity especially manufacturing and trade in the second half of 2019, the IMF said. Intensifying social unrest in several countries posed new challenges, as did weather-related disasters from hurricanes in the Caribbean to drought and bushfires in Australia, floods in eastern Africa and drought in southern Africa, according to the IMF.
Despite these headwinds, some indications emerged toward year-end that global growth may be bottoming out, the IMF said. Moreover, monetary policy easing continued into the second half of 2019 in several economies. Adding to the substantial support the easing provided earlier in 2019, its lagged effects should help global activity recover in early 2020, it noted. A few signs of turning points are yet visible in global macroeconomic data, stated the IMF.