International Monetary Fund Current Affairs - 2019

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IMF: World Economic Outlook, 2019

The World Economic Outlook is a biennial report that is released in April and October. According the report released recently on October 15, 2019, the global economy is at its slowest pace of growth at 3%. This is a serious climb down from 3.8% in 2017.

Key highlights of the report

  • The Global growth rate is projected to improve to 3.4% by 2020.
  • The growth of advanced economies is projected to slow down by 1.7%
  • The emerging and developing economies are projected to experience a growth pick up from 3.9% in 2019 to 4.6% in 2020.
  • The report downgraded India’s growth projections to 6.1% in 2019 and 7% in 2020.
  • According to the report, China is projected to grow at 6.1% in 2019 and 5.8% in 2020.
  • The trade volume reached the lowest since 2012. It reduced by 1% since 2012.

Justifications

  • About half of the economic slow down comes from shallower recessions in stressed emerging markets like Argentina, Turkey, Iran
  • Higher tariffs and prolonged uncertainty in the trade policy are the major reasons for dented investment and the slowdown in the growth. This is very well seen in the effects of trade wars and imposed sanctions
  • The automobile industry is contracting mainly due to the disruptions from new standard emission standards. This predominantly has effect in China.
  • Trade barriers and geopolitical tensions like Brexit is hampering investment, confidence and growth

Recommendations

  • The countries should support the economy slow down with tax-base enhancing measures, rationalizing subsidy-spending, efficient credit allocation and governance of public sector banks.
  • India should keep its Fiscal Deficit under check

Surjit S Bhalla appointed as Executive Director for India at IMF

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Economist Surjit S Bhalla as Executive Director for India on board of International Monetary Fund (IMF). The 71 year old Bhalla is appointed for a period of three years from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.

He will be succeeding former RBI deputy governor Subir Gokarn as Executive Director for India at IMF who died in the US on July 30 after a brief illness.  S Gokarn (59) was appointed ED for India on the board of the IMF in November 2015 and was supposed to complete his term in October.

About Surjit S Bhalla

He is an economist, columnist and also a Contributing Editor with The Indian Express.

He holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University, a Masters in Public and International Affairs (PIA) from Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, and a BSEE (Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering) degree from Purdue University.

In December 2018 he resigned as part-time member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).