News

    IMF Optimistic About Global Economic Growth

    A man walks next to the windows of a closed shop in downtown Milan, Italy, April 12, 2012.
    A man walks next to the windows of a closed shop in downtown Milan, Italy, April 12, 2012.

    The International Monetary Fund says in a new report that the global economic outlook is improving.  Despite a marked slowdown in Europe, the global lending institution projects the world economy will grow 3.5 percent this year, a slight improvement from its earlier forecast in January. Growth in developing countries remains brisk, but significant risks remain.


    The IMF says the U.S. job market is starting to show signs of life, factory output is up sharply from recessionary lows and American consumers are spending more.

    There's also good news from Europe, where coordinated efforts by the European Union may have eliminated the threat of a Greek default and lowered borrowing costs in other high debt countries.

    But IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard says the global economic picture is complicated. "Things have quieted down since but an uneasy calm remains.  One has the feeling that at any moment, things could well get very bad again," he said.

    Analysts point to Spain as a potential risk. Yields for Spanish bonds have doubled since March on speculation that Europe's fourth largest economy might seek financial support. But William Hobbs from VP Research says that's an unlikely scenario. "Spain is not Greece.  Spain has a viable, albeit open-to-reform economy, and they have globally-respected businesses and generally an economy which we think will eventually see it through these dark times to come," he said.

    The IMF sees promise in developing economies, particularly those in Asia, which are projected to grow 7.5 percent this year. China's growth will likely slow slightly to 8.2 percent.  But the pace is expected to accelerate in the Middle East and North Africa as oil prices continue to rise.

    Improvements are also seen in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa, where economic output is likely to expand 5 and a half percent. Still, Olivier Blanchard of the IMF sees reason for caution. "For many countries, the challenges come mainly from the outside in the form of lower exports to advanced countries because of the low growth there, of the volatility of commodity prices which affects both exporters and importers and the high volatility of capital flows," he said.

    The IMF report comes as the 187-nation institution and its sister lending organization, the World Bank, prepare to hold annual spring meetings in Washington.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora