IMF Revises Nigeria's Growth Outlook Upwards

The IMF has warned before of the threat from the growing use of robots
Free trade warning – IMF, WTO and World Bank say it must be defended
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13 April, 2017

In the analytical chapters of its flagship World Economic Outlook report, the International Monetary Fund on Monday said emerging markets and developing economies may face less supportive external environment going forward than they experienced for long stretches of the post-2000 period.

"At the same time, there are clear downside risks: political uncertainty, including in Europe, the sword of protectionism hanging over global trade, and tighter global financial conditions that could trigger disruptive capital outflows from emerging and developing economies", Lagarde said.

Open markets and increased competition can help poor countries rise from poverty, lower prices in rich countries and force companies and countries to become more efficient and focus on what they do best.

It also noted that the sharp slowdown in global trade in recent years is both a symptom of and a contributor to low economic growth, and that trade openness has slowed down sharply in recent years as trade restrictions in some areas remain high and new restrictions continue to grow since the global financial crisis.

Policies that help to sustain strong economic and job growth can ease the costs of adjustments to trade, said the report, which also stressed on the importance of domestic policies to address such events. The organizations want countries to make it easier for people to switch careers or move where jobs are and in some cases to provide insurance for lost wages.

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These economies have been incompetent in addressing trade shocks such as job losses, though job losses in certain sectors or regions have resulted from technological changes to a large extent, rather than from trade, said the report.

"The good news is that, after six years of disappointing growth, the world economy is gaining momentum as a cyclical recovery holds out the promise of more jobs, higher incomes and greater prosperity going forward".

The IMF sees a more favorable outlook for the global economy this year and next than in 2016, but it has concerns beyond the near-term, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

The report recommended more active government policies beyond traditional unemployment income benefits to retrain and redeploy workers idled by imports, including programs to encourage more worker mobility.

"I have also identified two key concerns that we at the International Monetary Fund have: one is persistent low productivity and, second, excessive inequalities that grow together with that low productivity", she said.


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