World Economic Growth Is Expected To Rise From 3.1 Percent In 2016 To 3.5 Percent In 2017

from the International Monetary Fund

Global economic activity is picking up with a long-awaited cyclical recovery in investment, manufacturing, and trade. World growth is expected to rise from 3.1 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018, slightly above the October 2016 World Economic Outlook (WEO) forecast. Stronger activity and expectations of more robust global demand, coupled with agreed restrictions on oil supply, have helped commodity prices recover from their troughs in early 2016.

Higher commodity prices have provided some relief to commodity exporters and helped lift global headline inflation and reduce deflationary pressures. Financial markets are buoyant and expect continued policy support in China and fiscal expansion and deregulation in the United States. If confidence and market sentiment remain strong, short-term growth could indeed surprise on the upside.

But these positive developments should not distract from binding structural impediments to a stronger recovery and a balance of risks that remains tilted to the downside, especially over the medium term. Structural problems - such as low productivity growth and high income inequality - are likely to persist. Inward-looking policies threaten global economic integration and the cooperative global economic order, which have served the world economy, especially emerging market and developing economies, well. A faster-than-expected pace of interest rate hikes in the United States could tighten financial conditions elsewhere, with potential further U.S. dollar appreciation straining emerging market economies with exchange rate pegs to the dollar or with material balance sheet mismatches. More generally, a reversal in market sentiment and confidence could tighten financial conditions and exacerbate existing vulnerabilities in a number of emerging market economies, including China - which faces the daunting challenge of reducing its reliance on credit growth. A dilution of financial regulation may lead to stronger near-term growth but may imperil global financial stability and raise the risk of costly financial crises down the road. In addition, the threat of deepening geopolitical tensions persists, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

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