IMF chief applauds world economy 'spring', warns 'sword of protectionism'

Updated 2017-04-13 09:00:52 Xinhua

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Wednesday applauded the world economy is witnessing cheerful "spring," but warned "sword of protectionism" would overshadow trade outlook.

After six years of "disappointing" growth, the world economy is gaining momentum, Lagarde told the audiences at an event organized by Brussels-based think tank Bruegel.

For advanced economies, the outlook had improved with stronger manufacturing activity, this upswing was broad-based across countries, including in Europe, although some countries still faced high debt and weaknesses in some banks, she said.

The prospects for emerging and developing economies also boded well for global growth, the IMF Chief said, adding that they have driven the global recovery in recent years and would continue to contribute more than three-quarters of global gross domestic product (GDP) growth in 2017.

"We see a global economy that has a spring in its step, benefiting from sound policy choices in many countries in recent years," Lagarde said.

Her remarks came a few days ahead of the IMF's scheduled release of world economic outlook as well as the Fund's spring meeting when finance ministers and central bankers were expected to meet and discuss world economy in Washington.

"At the same time, there are clear downside risks," Lagarde said, warning that "the sword of protectionism" was hanging over global trade.

"Restricting trade would be a 'self-inflicted wound' that disrupts supply chains, hurts global output, and inflates the prices of production materials and consumer goods," she added.

The IMF chief urged joint efforts to bolster global trade as it promoted innovation-sharing and encouraged firms to invest in new technologies and more efficient business practices.

"Let's build a more resilient and inclusive global economy with sound policies and strong international cooperation," Lagarde noted.

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