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The IMF sees the German economy slowing from a gain of 1.8 percent last year to 1.6 percent this year which represents an increase of 0.1 percentage points on its January forecast.

The IMF also lifted its United Kingdom forecasts for 2018 to 1.5 per cent, to "reflect the stronger-than-expected performance of the United Kingdom economy since the June Brexit vote".

However, the International Monetary Fund did not describe the UK's decision to leave the European Union in the same terms, saying the negotiations over the future relationship would not do significant harm to trade, although it did say uncertainty may weigh on activity and harm the medium-term growth prospects of the British economy.

Economic managers of the Duterte administration penciled a GDP growth range of 6.5 to 7.5 percent for this year.

The IMF said monetary policy has been supporting GDP growth and the implementation of the interest rate corridor in June a year ago has made the monetary transmission stronger.

The outlook has also improved for Europe and Japan based on a cyclical recovery in global manufacturing and trade that started in the second half of 2016.

Nonetheless, the Philippines will be affected should growth in the region slow, while the impact from a tightening of U.S. monetary policy will depend on the extent to which it is driven by stronger U.S. growth.

Peiris urged the government to focus on policies promoting inclusive growth, such as closing the gaps in infrastructure and human development particularly in poverty-stricken rural areas.

"A tax-reform proposal, which covers personal income tax, VAT [value-added tax] and excises, is expected to be approved by Congress later this year and will be critical to finance the additional spending and preserve the low-borrowing costs", Peiris said.

The International Monetary Fund said it expects the Philippine economy to post the fastest growth among major Southeast Asian economies this year and next, as strong macroeconomic fundamentals will likely weather the impact of external headwinds. Fears of protectionism dominated a meeting last month of the Group of 20 largest economies, and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde last week warned that "a sword of protectionism" is hanging over the global economy. But, he added, "We can not be sure we are out of the woods".

Tanzania, Kenya, Ivory Coast and Senegal were forecast to lift GDP by between 5% and 7% in 2017.

Meanwhile, Nigeria, the continent's most populous nation and a leading oil producer, was expected to return to growth in 2017 after a challenging 2016 characterised by recession, a dip in oil prices and energy shortages.

Surveys of purchasing managers showed that activity in the first three months of the year in the eurozone's manufacturing and services sectors hit its highest measure since 2011, before the eurozone economy entered a slowdown caused by its government debt crisis.

According to the updated report, China's 2018 growth rate was revised up by 0.2 point from January to 6.2 percent, but it would mark a further deceleration from an estimated 6.7 percent in 2016.


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