On the international front, the International Monetary Fund expects growth in the global economy to pick up speed. For the first time since 2012, the IMF sees a period of sustained, robust global growth — averaging 3.6 percent, a tick higher than last year’s 3.5 percent growth rate.
The IMF continues to express concern about the impact of rising U.S. protectionism and economic nationalism — underscoring its policy recommendations for the United States. Though the 2019 forecast shows a slight upgrade, the IMF says that “trade protectionism and risk aversion could undermine the progress made thus far,” alluding to the concerns over President Trump’s proposed tariffs.
The report also highlights concerns over China, which it sees as “in crisis” over efforts to continue its efforts to shift its economy to one driven more by domestic consumption than by investment. The statement continues with a call for “conclusive agreement to end the current trade tension,” and for China to “transition to an economy with a bigger focus on consumption and less reliance on investment and government-led growth.”