Washington – The International Monetary Fund raised its 2017 global growth forecast on Tuesday, noting that the global economy would grow 3.5 percent in 2017, up from its previous forecast of 3.4 percent in January.
The Fund held its 2018 growth forecast at 3.6 percent, in a report issued in its Washington headquarters every three months.
“Binding structural impediments continue to hold back a stronger recovery, and the balance of risks remains tilted to the downside, especially over the medium term,” the IMF World Economic Outlook for April 2017 said.
The report also stated that emerging market and developing economies have become increasingly important in the global economy in recent years. They now account for more than 75 percent of global growth in output and consumption, almost double the share of just two decades ago.
As for the Gulf, the IMF said that economic growth in Saudi Arabia and most other Arab oil exporters would slow this year following production cuts aimed at propping up energy prices.
“Growth in Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest economy, is expected to slow to 0.4 percent in 2017 because of lower oil production and ongoing fiscal consolidation, before picking up to 1.3 percent in 2018.
Growth rates in most other countries in the Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the Gulf are similarly projected to dip in 2017. By contrast, activity in most of the region’s oil importers is expected to continue to accelerate, with growth rising from 3.7 percent in 2016 to 4.0 percent in 2017 and 4.4 percent in 2018,” the report said.