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Asia Minute: IMF Upgrades Economic Forecast for Asia Pacific and the World

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

The International Monetary Fund has updated its outlook for the world economy – with a more optimistic tone. Part of that is due to expectations of stronger growth in the Asia Pacific. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

The International Monetary Fund says global economic growth should come in at 3.6 percent this year and marginally higher next year.

That’s healthier than last year’s rate of 3.2 percent, and a slight increase from the IMF’s last forecast in July.

In Asia, faster growth is expected in the region’s two largest economies: China and Japan. Better prospects are also forecast for several other key regional economies – including South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore.

The positive numbers also stretch across the Euro Zone and to the United States – where this year’s growth is expected to be 2.2 percent.

IMF economists say the faster growth expectations are based on increases in investment and industrial production, as well as consumer and business confidence.

There are some cautionary notes.

The IMF cut its growth projections for India this year and next – in part because of near-term uncertainty surrounding the introduction of tax reform – which is expected to bring longer-term benefits.

The IMF’s Chief Economist did warn against complacency, noting that wage growth is still weak and not all countries are participating in the global recovery.

Still, if the numbers hold up, this would be the strongest year for global economic growth since 2010.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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