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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

Buffett eyes slow U.S. progress, but says "never bet against America"

Warren Buffett in New York City in 2017. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Warren Buffett called progress in America "slow, uneven and often discouraging," but retained his long-term optimism in the country, in his closely watched annual shareholder letter released Saturday morning.

Why it matters: It breaks months of uncharacteristic silence from the 90-year-old billionaire Berkshire Hathaway CEO — as the fragile economy coped with the pandemic and the U.S. saw a contentious presidential election.

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.