OECD warns of trade war threat to global economic rebound

OECD warns of trade war threat to global economic rebound

OECD warns of trade war threat to global economic rebound

The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) raised its growth forecast for Canada to 2.2 per cent in 2018, up from 2.1 per cent it had forecast in November.

The Canadian economy will grow even faster than previously expected this year, according to the OECD, as strong global growth spurs investment and trade.

However, it said the global economy was vulnerable to an eruption of trade tensions after the Trump administration slapped import tariffs on steel and aluminium.

The OECD predicts the fastest world growth since 2011 this year, helped by USA tax cuts and spending in Germany.

The world economy is now forecast to grow by 3.9% in 2018 and also in 2019, up from prior forecasts of 3.7% for 2018 and 3.6% for 2019. The projection for this year was revised up from 3.7 percent and that for 2019 from 3.6 percent.

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On Brazil, with expectations of 2.2% in 2018 (1.9% in November) and 2.4% in 2019 (2.3%), the interim head of the OECD, Álvaro Pereira.

"Industrial production, investment and trade growth have rebounded, with global trade growth reaching an estimated over 5 percent in 2017, and business and consumer confidence remain elevated", the OECD stated. However, trade barriers could hurt the progress made in jobs, growth and recovery.

The currency bloc is forecast to grow 2.3 percent in 2018 and 2.1 percent in 2019.

The report revised 0.4% higher its predictions for U.S. growth - hitting 2.9% this year.

The report forecast a gradual rise in price and wage inflation in major economies, accompanied by a "normalisation" of interest rates away from the near-zero lows they have maintained in many countries since the crash of 2008.

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"Safeguarding the rules-based global trading system will help to support growth and jobs", it said.

The OECD appeared to take another jab at Trump - again, without naming him - saying that governments should avoid fiscal policy choices that are "excessively pro-cyclical", meaning further heating up an economy already firing on all cylinders.

And while eurozone growth is expected to ease off from 2.5% previous year to 2.3% in 2018 and 2.1% in 2019, major continental economies like Germany and France are forecast to out-perform the UK.

GDP growth in the United Kingdom is projected to ease to 1.3 percent this year and 1.1 percent in 2019.

"Countries should rely on collective solutions like the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity to address specific issues", he said.

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