IMF downgrades UK, US growth forecasts – POLITICO

IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said U.K. growth predictions were lowered due to the British economy’s “tepid performance” | Manan Vatsyayana/AFP via Getty Images

Fund downgrades British economy for first time since Brexit vote.

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The International Monetary Fund lowered its growth forecasts for the United Kingdom and the United States Monday and revised up its expectations for several eurozone countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

The IMF said its global growth projections from this year’s April World Economic Outlook remain on track, with 3.5 percent global growth expected this year and 3.6 percent in 2018. But in its July World Economic Outlook report, the fund said it expects the British economy to grow by 1.7 percent this year, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points from its April assessment. It is the IMF’s first downgrade of the British economy since the country voted to leave the EU in June 2016.

Speaking at the launch of the report in Kuala Lumpur Monday, IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said U.K. growth predictions were lowered due to the British economy’s “tepid performance,” the Guardian reported. “The ultimate impact of Brexit on the United Kingdom remains unclear,” Obstfeld added.

Global growth predictions remained unchanged due to stronger than expected growth in the eurozone, Canada and Japan, the fund indicated. Growth in China also remained steady, with only modest declines predicted in 2018.

The IMF also revised down its U.S. growth forecasts due to uncertainty over fiscal policy, to 2.1 percent from 2.3 percent this year and to 2.1 percent from 2.5 percent in 2018.

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