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Monday 20 February 2017

Global growth set to disappoint, says IMF boss

Mehreen Khan

Published 31/12/2015 | 02:30

Christine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde

Global economic growth will be "disappointing" next year, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.

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Rising US interest rates, a Chinese slowdown and disappointing world trade will all weigh on growth prospects in 2016, said Christine Lagarde.

The IMF estimates the global economy will expand by 3.6pc next year, but Ms Lagarde said growth would be "disappointing and uneven".

Ms Lagarde highlighted the "spillover" effects from the first interest rate hike in the US in nine years.

She warned that it could lead to tighter credit conditions and higher debt servicing costs for emerging markets.

Companies that have loaded up on dollar-denominated debt are at particular risk from the Federal Reserve's decisions.

Mass defaults could then "infect" banking systems and governments, cautioned the IMF's managing director.

The IMF has calculated that emerging market companies have "over-borrowed" by $3 trillion in the last decade.

Irish Independent

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