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Global GDP Growth Forecast at 3.2 Percent

Emerging markets are projected to grow by 3.9% on average.Emerging markets are projected to grow by 3.9% on average.

The global economy is projected to carry forward its current momentum to generate a 3.2% growth rate in 2018, Conference Board, the New York-based economic research association, said in its latest Global Economic Outlook 2018. The forecast is slightly down from the association’s February prediction of 3.3%.

A modest dip in global growth momentum is primarily driven by a maturing business cycle in the eurozone and a slightly weaker growth outlook in emerging markets, driven by US dollar appreciation and rising interest rates, as well as more challenging economic conditions in Brazil, Russia and Turkey, the report said, Xinhua reported.

Momentum in mature economies improved last year and will continue growing at about the same pace through 2018. Mature economies are expected to grow by 2.4% in 2018, unchanged from 2017, the report said.

The United States is forecast to grow 3% in 2018, up from 2.4% in 2017. The eurozone is forecast to see a slowdown to 2% in 2018 from last year; the UK is projected to grow below its potential at 0.9% in 2018, down from 1.8% last year, while Japan is projected to grow 1%, down from 1.7% the previous year, according to the Conference Board.

Meanwhile, emerging markets are projected to grow by 3.9% on average in 2018, slightly down from last year.

Business and consumer confidence levels remain very strong, indicating there is low recession risk in the short term.

“The economy is in good shape globally. Economic indicators are pointing in the right direction. This growth can be sustained at least for another half year,” said Bart van Ark, chief economist of the Conference Board.

Lingering potential trade disruptions have limited impact on such confidence levels. However, if current negotiations spiral out of control and cause an escalation in terms of tariffs or quotas, they can “trigger an economic downturn sooner rather than later”, the report warned.

“A bad outcome of the current rumblings leading to an escalation of tariff increases or the rise of quota will create a lot of uncertainties,” said van Ark.

The economist also noted that the bigger problem with these rising quotas is creating “a lot of inefficiencies in the economy.”

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