Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Global economic outlook

The IMF has revised downwards its projections for global growth for 2008- from 4.9% estimated last year to 4.1%. US economic growth is pegged at 1.5% instead of the earlier forecast of 1.9%. My own forecast for 2008 made in December was a little lower than 4.4%, the trend growth before the recent boom, the IMF's revised figure is in line with my forecast.

The IMF sees US growth at only 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2008, which implies a slow recovery from the present problems. I am rather more optimistic on this count, so global growth might end up a little higher than the IMF's revised forecast.

The IMF sees China's growth decelerating moderately from 11.4% to 10% but the World Bank sees a steeper decline- to 9.4%. Decelerating exports will contribute to this, according to the Bank. My reckoning is that the severe snowstorms in recent days will be an equally big factor.

On balance, I think the US will do better than the IMF thinks and China a little worse, so I see global growth in the region of 4-4.4% for this year.

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