The International Monetary Fund released Monday its updated economic outlook with a dire warning: The world’s economy is slowing and it could get much worse if countries keep fighting over trade.
The agency lowered estimates for growth in 2019 by 0.2 percentage points to 3.5% — its second downward revision.
The biggest risks are the unresolved trade war between the US and China, and the possibility of Britain exiting the European Union without a deal.
“After two years of solid expansion, the world economy is growing more slowly than expected, and risks are rising,” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said Monday, adding the “risk of a sharper decline in global growth has certainly increased.”
Eye on China
Specifically, concerns over China’s slowing economy were confirmed. The world’s second biggest economy grew at its slowest pace in almost three decades in 2018, expanding 6.6%, according to official data published Monday. That’s the weakest annual performance since 1990.
The deteriorating situation in a market that businesses around the world rely upon for growth is having a widespread impact. It has spooked investors and prompted warnings from top companies like Apple (AAPL).