Uncertainty over Trump policy clouds global outlook: World Bank

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WASHINGTON: The World Bank on Tuesday pared back its global growth estimate for 2017, but uncertainty about the economic policies of US President-elect Donald Trump is clouding the outlook.

Main author of the World Bank’s global forecast, Ayhan Kose told in an interview, “We need to pay attention. All eyes are on US policymakers and how they will formulate their policies.”

“What happens in the United States does not stay in the United States.”

In the semi-annual Global Economic Prospects report, the World Bank lowered the estimate for global growth this year a tenth from the June forecast, to 2.7 percent compared to the 2.3 percent growth seen last year.

The World Bank maintained its US forecast at 2.2 percent following a sluggish 1.6 percent in 2016. But those estimates could go much higher.

Even the table in the report displaying the forecasts for the major regions and economies comes with a footnote warning about the uncertainty: “The US forecasts do not incorporate the effect of policy proposals by the new US administration, as their overall scope and ultimate form are still uncertain.”

Kose said it is simply too soon to draw any conclusions, however a simulation showed the individual and corporate tax cuts that Trump discussed during the campaign could on their own add three-tenths to the US growth rate this year, and more than double that in 2018.

He said that infrastructure spending could have an even larger impact. “These are significant increases.”

“A healthy US economy is good for the rest of the world,” since an increase in US growth of one full percentage point could boost advanced economies by eight-tenths after a year, and emerging markets by six-tenths.

Source: AFP

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