FILE- In this Sept. 19, 2018, file photo a worker browses his smartphone outside a construction site wall depicting the skyscrapers in the Chinese capital at the Central Business District in Beijing. After galloping along for the past two years, the global economy is showing signs of weakening, with the United States, China and Europe all facing the rising threat of a slowdown. Few economists foresee an outright global recession within the next year. But the synchronized growth that powered most major economies since 2017 appears to be fading. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

World economy forecast to slow in 2019 amid trade tensions

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from expected global growth of 3.5 per cent

The International Monetary Fund has cut its forecast for world economic growth this year, citing heightened trade tensions and rising U.S. interest rates.

The IMF said Monday that it expects global growth this year of 3.5 per cent, down from 3.7 per cent in 2018 and from the 3.7 per cent it had forecast for 2019 back in October.

RELATED: Bank of Canada holds interest rate

Unveiling its forecasts at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the fund left its prediction for U.S. growth this year unchanged at 2.5 per cent.

For Canada, the IMF’s estimate for growth in 2019 was 1.9 per cent, down from a forecast in October for growth of 2.0 per cent.

The IMF’s view is more positive than an assessment by the Bank of Canada issued Jan. 9. The central bank forecast growth of 1.7 per cent this year, down from its October prediction of 2.1 per cent.

IMF’s growth outlook for the 19 countries that use the euro currency has been reduced to 1.6 per cent from 1.8 per cent.

Growth in emerging-market countries is forecast to slow to 4.5 per cent from 4.6 per cent in 2018. The IMF expects the Chinese economy — the world’s second biggest — to grow 6.2 per cent this year, down from 6.6 per cent in 2018 and slowest since 1990.

RELATED: Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

The World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have also downgraded their world growth forecasts.

Rising trade tensions pose a major risk to the world economy. Under President Donald Trump the United States has imposed import taxes on steel, aluminum and hundreds of Chinese products, drawing retaliation from China and other U.S. trading partners.

“Higher trade uncertainty will further dampen investment and disrupt global supply chains,” said IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath.

Rising interest rates in the U.S. and elsewhere are also pinching emerging-market governments and companies that borrowed heavily when rates were ultra-low in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 Great Recession.

As the debts roll over, those borrowers have to refinance at higher rates. A rising dollar is also making things harder for emerging-market borrowers who took out loans denominated in the U.S. currency.

— With a file from The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VALLEY SENIORS: Port Alberni group provides support for stroke survivors

The Stroke Recovery Foundation of BC has assisted thousands of stroke survivors and their families

North Island College entices international students to Alberni’s ECCE program

Port Alberni had seven international students in January 2019

Port Alberni’s bylaw department shifts from reactive to proactive

8.5 times more files being completed by bylaw officers

Port Alberni’s West Coast Rangers hold rendezvous

Three-day event featured historical re-enactment

Port Alberni Port Authority talks logistics for cruise ship visit

Some restrictions for pedestrians, boaters will be in place

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read