The International Monetary Fund warned on Tuesday of a slowdown in global economic growth as the world economy continues to take a hit from “increasingly gloomy developments in 2022,” including high inflation, a slowdown in China caused by Covid lockdowns and ongoing fallout from Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The group cited a slowdown in the world’s three largest economies—the United States, China and the euro area—as a reason for the revised estimates, warning that the risks to the outlook remain “overwhelmingly tilted to the downside.”
Several “shocks” have hit the global economy as it tries to recover from the pandemic, including higher-than-expected inflation worldwide–especially in the United States and Europe, a worse-than-anticipated slowdown in China caused by Covid lockdowns and “further negative spillovers” from the war in Ukraine.
The IMF also said that high inflation remains a “major problem” as prices have continued to rise in 2022, led by soaring food and fuel costs, arguing that “taming inflation should be the first priority for policymakers” worldwide.
The group now expects global inflation to hit 6.6% in advanced economies and 9.5% in developing economies this year, though prices are expected to return to near-prepandemic levels by the end of 2024.
The IMF also slashed its growth estimates for the U.S. economy, now forecasting GDP to rise 2.3% this year and 1% in 2023, down from previous estimates of 3.7% and 2.3%, respectively, amid the impact of tighter monetary policy and reduced household purchasing power.
“The outlook has darkened significantly since April,” IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said in a statement. “The world may soon be teetering on the edge of a global recession, only two years after the last one.”
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“The slowdown in China has global consequences,” the IMF said. “Lockdowns added to global supply-chain disruptions and the decline in domestic spending are reducing demand for goods and services from China’s trade partners.” The group now sees China’s economy growing 3.3% in 2022—its lowest pace in four decades and down over 1% from previous estimates.
The World Bank similarly slashed its forecasts for the global economy last month, predicting GDP growth in 2022 of just 2.9%, down from an earlier estimate of 4.1%.
By Sergei Klebnikov, Forbes Staff