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Global Growth Could Dip Below 2% in 2023 – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said there is a 25% chance that global growth could drop below 2% next year given the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, high inflation rate and lingering COVID-19 effect.

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IMF global - Investors King

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said there is a 25% chance that global growth could drop below 2% next year given the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, high inflation rate and lingering COVID-19 effect.

Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, the IMF’s Chief Economist announced on Tuesday, October 11 in Washington, DC.

While Gourinchas expect global growth to remain unchanged at 3.2% previously predicted by the Fund, he predicted a 0.2% decline to 2.7% in 2023, with a 25% chance of dropping below 2 percent.

“The global economy is weakening further and facing a historically fragile environment. The outlook continues to be shaped by three forces. Persistent and broadening inflation, causing a cost-of-living crisis, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the associated energy crisis, and the economic slowdown in China. For this year, our projection for world GDP growth is unchanged at 3.2%, as in the July World Economic Outlook update. Global growth is forecast to slow down to 2.7% in 2023, 0.2 percentage point lower than projected in July. The slowdown is broad based. More than a third of the global economy will contract in 2023, while the three largest economies in the world, the United States, the Euro area, and China will continue to stall. For the first time, we calculated risks around the baseline projections. We find there is a 25% chance that growth will fall below 2% in 2023. This happened exceedingly rarely in the past and a 10 to 15% chance it will fall below 1%, corresponding to a decline in real output per capita,” said Gourinchas.

Downside risks remain elevated, while policy trade-offs to address the cost-of-living crisis have become acutely challenging. The risk of monetary, fiscal, or financial policy miscalibration has risen sharply at a time when the world economy remains historically fragile and financial markets are showing signs of stress.

Unfortunately, most risks to the outlook are to the downside. There’s a risk of monetary policy, miscalibration at a time of high uncertainty and fragility. In particular, we are concerned that central banks will ease too early, causing inflation to remain excessively high and requiring a much larger loss of output later. A persistently strong dollar could fuel inflation and amplify financial tightening, especially in emerging market and developing economies. High post-pandemic debts and higher borrowing costs could cause widespread debt distress in low-income countries. A deeper real estate crisis in China could cause severe financial stress. The war could further destabilize energy markets. A resurgence of the pandemic would hit under-vaccinated regions hard, especially Africa. Lastly, further geopolitical fragmentation could hamper global policy coordination and trade,” added Gourinchas.

Persistent and broadening inflation pressures have triggered a rapid and synchronized tightening of monetary conditions, alongside a powerful appreciation of the US dollar against most other currencies. Tighter global monetary and financial conditions will work their way through the economy, weighing demand down and helping to gradually subjugate inflation.

“The biggest fight now is the fight against inflation. Central banks are laser focused and they need to keep a steady hand. Growth will slow in 2023 as conditions tighten and some financial fragilities may emerge. But the main priority should be to restore price stability. This is the bedrock of future economic prosperity. Next, fiscal policy needs to be guided by coherent economic principles. First, pandemic era stimulus should be withdrawn, and buffers rebuilt. Second, fiscal policy should not work at cross-purposes with monetary policy. Third, the energy crisis will be long lasting. Solving it requires supply to increase and demand to decrease. Price signals will be important to achieve that. Governments should provide direct, temporary and targeted help to low- and middle-income families. Finally, many countries are struggling with the strength of the dollar. Yet this reflects mostly the speed of the tightening cycle in the United States, as well as the energy crisis. Unless financial markets become severely disrupted, monetary policy should focus on inflation while allowing the exchange rate to adjust to underlying economic forces,” warned Gourinchas.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Economy

Fourth Mainland Bridge: Lagos State Shortlists Three Companies, Budgets $2.5 Billion

The shortlisted bidders are Mota-Engil (Nigeria and Africa) CCCC and CRBC Consort; CGGC-CGC joint venture; and CCECC and CRCCIG Consortium.

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Agege Pen Cinema Bridge

Lagos state government has shortlisted three multinational companies as bidders for the construction of a $2.5 billion fourth mainland bridge.

The shortlisted bidders are Mota-Engil (Nigeria and Africa) CCCC and CRBC Consort; CGGC-CGC joint venture; and CCECC and CRCCIG Consortium.

According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), Ope George, the Fourth Mainland Bridge was a proposed PPP transport infrastructure development that includes the construction and operation of a greenfield tolled road and bridge with a design speed of 120kph, including the development of adjacent real estates.

It could be recalled that Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, earlier announced that construction on the fourth mainland bridge will begin as soon as a preferred bidder is announced.

Investors King understands that the construction of the fourth mainland bridge will be strategic in easing traffic in the most populous state in Nigeria. It is estimated that Lagos state has a population of almost 20 million.

Besides, after completion, the bridge has the potential to open a new phase of investment opportunities to Lagos state. Already, Lagos has the largest economy in Nigeria and one of the largest in Africa.

The idea of a fourth mainland bridge to complement and ease traffic on the third mainland bridge which was built by the former military president, Ibrahim Babangida was conceptualised during the administration of former governor Bola Tinubu. 

Although construction was planned to commence in 2017, nothing significant towards the commencement of the bridge was done until now.

George added that the bridge is expected to become the second longest in Africa featuring three toll plazas, nine interchanges, a 4.5km lagoon bridge, and an eco-friendly environment.

“The fourth mainland bridge which will span about 34 kilometres is projected to start from Abraham Adesanya in Ajah, on the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe corridor and transverse the north-west towards the lagoon shoreline of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway via Owutu/Isawo in Ikorodu,” he said.

He concluded that the preferred bidder would be announced before the end of the year.

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Economy

Abuja – Kaduna Train Service Postponed by Few Days to Sort Ticketing; Minister for Transportation

Resumption for Abuja to Kaduna train has been postponed due to the need to sort out ticketing

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Lagos-Ibadan Train Services - Investors King

The resumption date of the Abuja to Kaduna train has been postponed due to the need to sort out ticketing, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo disclosed this during a visit to the Rigasa train station ahead of the resumption.

According to the minister, the need to ensure that more security measures are put in place and booking tickets are sorted out necessitates the postponement.

The minister added that although he could not give a definite date for the resumption of the rail service, the resumption would however not be more than a week.

He disclosed that the ministry is 90 percent ready to commence operation along the route. 

“The federal government has introduced a new system of purchasing tickets. It is the beginning of security checks that will enable the government to ascertain who boards the train at every point in time.” the minister stated. 

Investors King earlier reported that Abuja to Kaduna train service will resume on Monday. 

The earlier scheduled date for the resumption follows the minister’s statement at the presidential briefing that the train service along the Abuja to Kaduna route will resume operation before the end of this month. 

It would be recalled that Abuja to Kaduna train service was suspended following the attack on the train on 28th March 2022 when terrorists planted explosives that derailed the train.

The attack led to the death of no less than nine passengers while 60 were abducted. 

They were however released in batches after spending several months with the terrorists. 

Muazu had on several occasions disclosed that service along the route will not resume until all those held in captivity have been released and better security measures put in place to prevent a recurrence. 

While fielding questions from journalists yesterday, the minister disclosed that the number of daily trips would be reduced, and the use of National Identity Number would be strictly requested as part of strategies to secure passengers.

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Economy

CBN Governor, Emefiele Projects Inflation Rate Will Drop Below 15% in 2023

CBN expects inflation to moderate in 2023

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Nigeria's Inflation Rate - Investors King

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has projected that Nigeria’s inflation rate will fall below 15 percent in 2023.

Emefiele disclosed this in a keynote address delivered at the annual Bankers Dinner Night of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

According to the CBN governor, 2023 portrays a positive economic outlook for the country while the apex bank will continue to implement policies to curtail inflation. 

The CBN Governor also called on Nigerians to embrace the new naira notes, stressing that the decision to redesign the higher denomination notes is for a purpose that is in the overall interest of the country.

He added that the redesign policy will help control currency circulation and drive a cashless economy. 

“This policy will quicken the attainment of a cashless economy as it is complemented by increased minting of our eNaira. It will curtail currency outside the banking system and, as monetary policy becomes more efficacious, help to rein in inflation,” he noted

Emefiele also used the occasion to underscore the efforts of the central bank to maintain the stability of the exchange rates in 2022. He identifies oil theft as one of the major factors preventing the country from building a robust external reserve. 

While he acknowledged that the narrative might be the same for some time, he added that the forthcoming general election which has overheated the marketplace is another factor that is driving the exchange rate. 

Investors King understands that naira has greatly suffered against dollar and other strong foreign currencies including pounds and euro. 

In October, a Bloomberg report rated Nigeria’s currency as one of the worst-performing currency in the world. 

Meanwhile, the CBN has insisted on January 31st, 2023 as the deadline to phase out the current naira notes. 

The CBN governor reiterated the bank’s decision at the same venue of the annual Bankers Dinner Night of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria held in Lagos. 

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