Economy

Potential trade war threatens global economic growth, OECD warns

Potential trade war threatens global economic growth, OECD warns

USA tax cuts and government spending increases will likely deliver a boost to the global economy this year and next, but that could be offset by an escalation of tensions over trade, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Tuesday.

City and academic economists expect the United Kingdom economy to expand at an annual pace of 1.5% over the next two years, and Chancellor Philip Hammond is expected to reveal a more optimistic outlook in updated official forecasts on Tuesday.

The OECD's latest economic outlook showed all but one G20 nation - Russian Federation - was set to grow at a faster pace this year than predicted last November. "Escalation of trade tensions would hurt the recovery".

Growth in France is expected to hit an 11-year high of 2.2 per cent this year before easing to 1.9 per cent in 2019. Slow growth in wage base posed a challenge to policymakers trying to inject further momentum into an economy now in its best run of expansion in 28 years.

Globally, the OECD expects a modest increase in inflation amid tightening labor markets, which will reduce dependence on accommodative monetary policy.

Video
       US steel firm welcomes Trump tariff
Video US steel firm welcomes Trump tariff

An improved outlook for world economic growth will be placed at severe risk if a trade war results from U.S. metal tariffs, a report has warned.

"Safeguarding the rules-based worldwide trading system is essential to prevent the longer-term harm to growth prospects that could arise from a retreat from open markets", it said.

U.S. President Donald Trump last week formally signed proclamations to impose a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum, causing mounting dissent among business groups and trading partners around the world.

The latest report lifted growth forecasts for the US and euro zone economies.

It credited tax cuts in the USA, the world's largest economy, for much of the upgrade - though the worldwide forum warned that protectionist policies were a big risk factor in the forecast. The world's largest economy is expected to grow 2.9 percent this year and 2.8 percent next year.

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