Global growth, already expected to be slow, was downgraded Wednesday by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In its latest world economic outlook report, the IMF forecasted global growth to slow to 3.3% in 2019 from 3.6% the year before. In 2020, growth is expected to return to 3.6%.
The growth projections for 2019 and 2020 were marked down by 0.4 and 0.1 percentage points, respectively, since the IMF’s October outlook.
While growth is expected to moderate in the near term, a projected pickup is forecast in the second half of 2019 because of a buildup of policy stimulus in China, recent improvements in global financial market sentiment, less drag on growth in the euro area and stabilizing conditions in emerging markets.
The balance of risk remains to the downside, the IMF report said. For example, growth could weaken from an escalation in trade tensions or a sharp deterioration in market sentiment, which would “imply portfolio reallocations away from risk assets, wider spreads over safe haven securities, and generally tighter financial conditions, especially for vulnerable economies,” it said.
Market sentiment could sour over such things as Brexit, persistently weak economic data and prolonged fiscal uncertainty, it said.
For Canada, the IMF forecasted 2019 growth of 1.5%, half a percentage point lower than it projected in October.
U.S. growth was downgraded 0.2 percentage point for 2019, to 2.3%. China’s 2019 growth was forecasted to be 6.3%, a 0.1 percentage point increase from October projections because of fiscal stimulus and reduced global trade tensions.
An alternative economic outlook projected Canadian growth to be even lower.
“Growth is unlikely to bounce back substantially in early 2019 as drag from residential investment and cautious households weighs on growth,” said the latest economic outlook report from Deloitte, released Tuesday.
It projects the Canadian economy will grow by a “weak” 1.3% this year and a slightly better 1.5% in 2020, keeping the Bank of Canada on hold and the loonier weaker.
The Bank of Canada’s forecasted figures from January put growth at 1.9% and 2.1%, respectively, for 2019 and 2020 (fourth quarter annualized). New projections will be released later this month with the central bank’s April monetary policy report.
The Deloitte report said that modest growth leaves the Canadian economy more vulnerable to unexpected negative shocks, though Deloitte didn’t forecast a recession. Rather than be rattled by potential risk, it suggested companies “adapt, innovate and overcome.”