IMF warns against trade wars as world economy slows

WASHINGTON • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned policymakers that the global economy is not out of the woods yet, and that actions such as trade wars risk upsetting the apple cart.

IMF first deputy managing director David Lipton said on Friday that the global financial institution sees a downside risk to economic growth amid uncertainties over trade tensions, monetary policy and Chinese economic growth.

He asserted that “it’s time to make sure policymakers do no harm” on the sidelines of the Fund’s spring meetings in Washington.

The IMF last week downgraded its outlook for this year’s global growth to the lowest level since the financial crisis a decade ago.

The forecast came as the United States and China inched closer to an agreement to end their trade war even as the risk grew of a new one breaking out between the US and the European Union.

Meanwhile, Britain’s split from the EU continues to drag on the global economy.

Nevertheless, Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda indicated that there are signs the global economy may be turning the corner, predicting that growth will recover in the second half of the year.