OECD Sees Better Outlook, if Trade Escalation Avoided

OECD forecasts better growth ahead

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.

In its interim economic outlook report, the OECD projects 3.9 percent global growth for 2018 and 2019, up from the November forecasts of 3.7 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively.

It said that the tax cuts in the USA will boost business investment and could add as much as 0.75 percentage point to growth this year and next in the world's largest economy.

The higher forecast was in part due to expectations that US tax cuts would boost economic growth there, it said.

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Alvaro Pereira, the OECD's acting chief economist, said: "US steel and aluminium tariffs will raise costs and harm consumers, while not solving the global overcapacity problem".

Rebounding global business investment would keep global trade growth at about 5 percent this year, the OECD forecast. Trade protectionism, however, remains a "key risk" to the world economy, according to the report.

Financial markets have been hit by fears of a trade war following U.S. President Donald Trump's move to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Robust exports to Asia and the effect of a supplementary budget for fiscal 2017 through March will help support Japan's economic growth, the OECD said as it lifted its forecasts for the world's third biggest economy also for both years.

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Britain is set to miss out on buoyant global economic growth over the next two years, according to new forecasts by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD).

With the euro area economy resilient, rising inflation would allow the European Central Bank to reduce its bond purchases gradually this year and subsequently phase out its negative interest rate policy, the OECD said.

By contrast, growth in the global economy is expected to strengthen further from its six-year high of 3.7% in 2017 to reach 3.9% in 2018 and 2019.

He said: "Investment is coming back, and so this is very good news for good new for jobs and growth across the economies".

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The report revised 0.4% higher its predictions for United States growth - hitting 2.9% this year.

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