International Monetary Fund expects India's economy to grow at 7.4% in 2018

South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon shakes hands with International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde before a meeting in Washington

International Monetary Fund expects India's economy to grow at 7.4% in 2018

In a sign of its growing concern that protectionism is being stimulated by voter scepticism, the International Monetary Fund used its half-yearly health check for the world economy to tell policymakers they needed to address the public's concerns before a better-than-expected period of growth came to an end.

Its goals are to ensure the stability of the worldwide monetary system (exchange rates and global payments), to secure financial stability, facilitate worldwide trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.

Inflation is already above the government and Bank of England's target of 2%.

The increased tension in recent months over trade largely reflects President Trump's view that the deficit in United States trade - the country imports more than it exports - is a result of poor agreements negotiated by his predecessors and other countries taking advantage of the US. He says that recent tax measures are actually likely to increase the deficit. Romania's current account balance showed a deficit of 172 million euro ($212 million) in the first two months of 2018, compared to a surplus of 72 million euro in the same period of previous year. "Instead, it is in danger of being torn apart".

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The IMF said the reforms would improve infrastructure in transport and telecommunication sectors to spur growth.

It was not "paradoxical" that major economies were "flirting with trade war" while economies were expanding because many households had seen little or no benefit from growth.

"If policymakers are complacent and do not tackle the challenge of strengthening long-term growth, political risks could intensify, possibly reversing some of the progress that economic reforms and integration have achieved to date".

The 3.9 per cent global growth forecast for 2018, 2019, he said, is being borne out by continuing strong performance in the euro area, Japan, China, and the United States, all of which grew above expectations a year ago.

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The U.S. economy will grow 2.9% this year, the IMF said, up 0.2 percentage point from the fund's forecast in January.

The IMF raised its US growth projections by 0.2 percentage point from its January forecasts for both years, to 2.9 percent for 2018 and 2.7 percent for 2019.

He also calls the slightly slower growth in Canada unsurprising.

Such growth should help the Australian jobless rate ease to 5.2 per cent in 2019 and close to what the Reserve Bank believes to be "full employment" at five per cent.

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Risks to the global growth forecasts were broadly balanced for the next few quarters, with the potential for stronger business profits to increase hiring and investments that could boost productivity, the International Monetary Fund said.

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