Oct 15, 2019

IMF predicts slowest global economic growth since 2008 financial crisis

Gita Gopinath, the IMF's chief economist, and Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, the IMF's research deputy director, take questions from the media. Photo: Olivier Douilery/AFP/Getty Images

The International Monetary Fund is now predicting global economic growth will slow to its weakest level since the 2008 financial crisis in its third revision of its 2019 forecast.

The big picture: A sharper-than-expected slowdown in international trade has affected manufacturing and investments, according to the organization's World Economic Outlook.

  • IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath said the organization estimates that trade tensions between the U.S. and China will cumulatively reduce the level of global GDP by 0.8% by 2020.
  • Conversely, if all tariffs put in place in 2018 and 2019 were removed, it would boost global GDP by 0.8% — bringing expectations for growth to 4.2%.

By the numbers: The IMF lowered its forecast for growth from the 3.2% it predicted in July to 3%.

  • The U.S. forecast was cut from 2.6% to 2.4%.
  • China's forecast saw a downward revision from 6.2% to 6.1%.
  • The Eurozone area is expected to see 1.2% growth, down from 1.3%.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Courtenay Brown: The IMF says global trade tensions, particularly the U.S.-China trade war, is dragging down growth. That leaves a revival of the global economy in the hands of politicians, not central bankers whose tools may not be enough to stave off a trade war-prompted slowdown.

Go deeper: A synchronized global slowdown

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 5,410,228 — Total deaths: 345,105 — Total recoveries — 2,169,005Map.
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  3. World: White House announces travel restrictions on Brazil, coronavirus hotspot in Southern Hemisphere Over 100 coronavirus cases in Germany tied to single day of church services — Boris Johnson backs top aide amid reports that he broke U.K. lockdown while exhibiting symptoms.
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  5. Economy: White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Public employees brace for layoffs.
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Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The CDC is warning of potentially "aggressive rodent behavior" amid a rise in reports of rat activity in several areas, as the animals search further for food while Americans stay home more during the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: More than 97,700 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 366,700 Americans have recovered and more than 14.1 million tests have been conducted.

World coronavirus updates

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Japan's economy minister outlined plans on Monday to end the nationwide state of emergency as the number of new novel coronavirus cases continues to decline to fewer than 50 a day, per Bloomberg. Japan has reported 16,550 cases and 820 deaths.

By the numbers: Over 5.4 million people have tested positive for the virus as of Monday, and more than 2.1 million have recovered. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world (over 1.6 million from 13.7 million tests). The U.K. is reporting over 36,800 deaths from the coronavirus — the most fatalities outside the U.S.