IMF foresees 3.5% global economy growth in 2017

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In its latest World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund forecast the global economy will grow by 3.5 percent in 2017, an acceleration from the 3.1 percent growth past year and an upgrade of 0.1 percentage points from its January projection.

It also falls within the government's 6.5-7.5% growth goal for 2017, and will keep the Philippines in the ranks of Asia's fastest-growing economies.

The IMF bumped up its estimate for Japanese growth to 1.2 percent this year, an increase of 0.4 percentage point from three months ago.

Among the G7, the USA has the highest projected growth, with increases of 2.3 per cent this year and 2.5 per cent in 2018, unchanged from the IMF's outlook in January.

One bright spot is gas-rich Qatar which is expected to register 3.4% growth this year, compared with 2.7% in 2016. In emerging market and developing economies as a group, fiscal adjustment is expected to detract slightly from economic activity in 2017 and 2018, albeit with marked differences across countries and regions, said the International Monetary Fund. It maintained the 2018 growth forecast for those economies unchanged at 2 percent.

Addressing senior representatives from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, as well as over 150 parliamentarians, the Minister called for greater focus on collaboration in illicit financial flows from Africa as a core pillar of the government's strategy to significantly enhance domestic government revenue and deliver sustainable economic growth.

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The IMF said the USA economy would grow half a percentage point faster than in 2017 and 2018 than it predicted in October 2016, before the election of President Trump.

The IMF warned that the eurozone economic outlook was clouded by Brexit and election uncertainties, with growth expected to be only modest overall.

The IMF expects the current account, which measures money flows from goods and services, to log a deficit at 0.1% of GDP this year, widening to 0.3% in 2018. In countries in which growth is insufficient, monetary policy has to be accommodative (a reference to the European Central Bank) but it can not work on its own, the IMF says, underlining once again the need to clean up bank balance sheets, facing the issue of non-performing loans (NPLs), a problem that is particularly acute in Italy, and strengthening the efficiency of banks.

"The medium-term outlook for the euro area as a whole remains dim, as projected potential growth is held back by weak productivity, adverse demographics, and, in some countries, unresolved legacy problems of public and private debt overhang, with a high level of non-performing loans", it said in the report.

Japan's growth outlook for this year was doubled to 1.2% from 0.6% and the projection for next year was boosted to 0.6% from 0.5%. Significant growth is also expected in commodity importing countries, notably China.

Speaking at a media briefing to unveil the WEO, at the ongoing IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C, IMF's Chief of the World Economic Studies Division, Oya Celasun, said the nation's economy will benefit from flexible exchange rate.

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