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Asia Minute: IMF: Slower Growth for Asia


Economic growth around the world is likely to be the slowest this year since the global recession of a decade ago. That word came from the International Monetary Fund Tuesday — and the news came under close examination in the Asia Pacific.

It’s not a shock that the International Monetary Fund has downgraded prospects for the world’s economy — it’s been doing that for the past year and a half.

This time, the IMF cut the headline number for the world to three-percent for this year – down three-tenths of a percentage point from six months ago, and nearly a full percentage point lower than in 2017.

The IMF blames the U.S./China trade dispute as a major reason, calculating that tariffs and countermeasures have knocked nearly a full percentage point off global gross domestic product.

The Asia Pacific has been hit more than other parts of the world — starting with China — where the IMF cut its expectations slightly for this year. Both China and India are set to grow about 6% this year – with a slowing outlook for China next year and faster growth for India.

The IMF says the United States will grow just under 2.5% this year — and just above 2% next year.

Growth projections come in at 2% for South Korea — a bit slower for Australia, while Japan is forecast to bump along at just under one-percent this year, and about half that pace next year.

As for how to make the world grow faster, the IMF’s chief economist suggests “undoing the trade barriers put in place with durable agreements and reining in geopolitical tensions.”

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