IMF maintains 1% forecast for Japan in 2016 but cuts outlook for global growth


The International Monetary Fund has cut its projections for global economic growth this year, including for the United States, citing a slowdown in emerging economies such as China.

But in its revision to the semiannual World Economic Outlook, the IMF on Tuesday kept its 2016 forecast for Japan unchanged, citing support for the economy from the government and central bank among other factors.

The IMF said the global economy will grow 3.4 percent in 2016 in terms of real gross domestic product, down 0.2 percentage point from the earlier estimate, made in October.

The world economy expanded 3.1 percent in 2015, it said.

“The picture for emerging market and developing economies is diverse but in many cases challenging,” the IMF said in the update of the October report, expecting the global economy to expand 3.6 percent in 2017, also revised down 0.2 point.

China’s efforts to change its economy from one focused on exports and investment in infrastructure to a consumption-oriented model are among the factors that will continue to “weigh on growth prospects” in 2016 and 2017, the IMF said.

The world body slashed its growth projections for the United States by 0.2 point to 2.6 percent for both 2016 and 2017. U.S. growth in 2015 amounted to 2.5 percent, it said.

The Japanese economy is expected to expand 1 percent in 2016, unchanged from the earlier projection, and 0.3 percent in 2017, down 0.1 point, the IMF said. It noted that the economy grew 0.6 percent last year.

Growth in Japan is “expected to firm in 2016, on the back of fiscal support, lower oil prices, accommodative financial conditions, and rising incomes,” the IMF said.

Emerging and developing economies will expand by 4.3 percent overall this year, following 4 percent growth last year. They will post growth of 4.7 percent in 2017, the IMF said.

The projections for 2016 and 2017 were both down 0.2 point from the earlier forecasts.

The IMF expects China’s economy to grow 6.3 percent in 2016 and 6 percent in 2017, both unchanged from the October announcement. It grew 6.9 percent in 2015, according to the IMF.