IMF raises global growth forecast to 3.5%
US: The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday hiked its global
growth forecasts but warned the outlook was “very fragile” and could be
shattered by Europe's debt crisis and high oil prices.
The IMF estimated global growth at an annual rate of 3.5 percent this
year, accelerating to 4.1 percent in 2013.
The forecasts reflected an upgrade from the January forecast of 3.3
percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. “The outlook for the global
economy is slowly improving again but is still very fragile,” the IMF
said in a twice-yearly report.
The IMF raised its growth estimate for the advanced economies to 1.4
percent for 2012.
China continued to be the global driver. The world's second-largest
economy was forecast to grow at 8.2 percent, slightly stronger than
previously believed. The improved global forecasts since January were
due in part from better global financial conditions and easing fears
about the eurozone debt crisis, the IMF said.
Reconstruction in Japan and Thailand, following natural disasters,
also helped to foster growth in Asia. “Policy has played an important
role in recent improvements, but various fundamental problems remain
unresolved,” said the IMF, considered the global lender of last resort
for troubled member countries. The fund cited the European Central
Bank's pumping cash into the eurozone banking system, the expansion of a
eurozone firewall to contain the debt crisis and structural reforms
aimed at restoring financial health.