Three years of shock after shock for the global economy


New Delhi, Oct 8:  The global economic outlook is darkening and the risks of recession are quickly rising, as per the International Monetary Fund, which said it will once again lower its growth projections, media reports said.

“We estimate that countries accounting for about one-third of the world economy will experience at least two consecutive quarters of contraction this or next year,” said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva during a speech at Georgetown University, CNN reported.

“And, even when growth is positive, it will feel like a recession because of shrinking real incomes and rising prices.”

The IMF anticipates that the world could lose $4 trillion in economic output between now and 2026.

“This is the size of the German economy, a massive setback for the world economy,” she said, CNN reported.

Georgieva described the world as being in a period of “historic fragility”, traversing crises including a pandemic, a months-long war in Ukraine and harsh waves of extreme weather events that have combined to propel a dramatic and devastating surge in prices.

“In less than three years, we lived through shock, after shock, after shock,” the Bulgarian economist said, CNN reported.

Geopolitics is contributing to the rising inflation in India and worldwide with commodity prices shooting up.

Morgan Stanley said in a recent research that a supply-constrained rise in oil prices is generally bad for India’s macro and markets, albeit the shift in current account funding dynamics is mitigating the impact.

Other commodities such as fertilizers, seeds, and palm oil are also sources of pressure on the macro side, especially on inflation and balance of payments, it added.

In emerging economies, weaker external demand and dollar strength will weigh on growth, foreign brokerage, Credit Suisse said in a report predicting that the worst is yet to come for the global economy.

Inflation has likely peaked in most emerging economies, but central banks should continue hiking at least through the end of 2022, the report said.

“Overall, the economic environment for risk assets is deteriorating. Stagnating global industrial production, persistent cost pressures, and rising financing costs all suggest a prolonged period of low risk appetite,” Credit Suisse said.

High inflation and tight labour markets lead us to raise our forecasts for interest rates significantly higher. Global central banks are now hiking at the fastest pace since 1979. “We see little prospect for any pivots toward easing. We have cut our GDP growth forecasts. More tightening, rising real yields, energy price shocks in Europe, and China’s ongoing property market stress and Covid lockdowns have led us to cut our GDP growth forecasts,” Credit Suisse said.

A report from the State Bank of India’s Economic Research Department said RBI raised the Repo rate by 50 basis points to 5.90 per cent, as the MPC seeks to remain focused on withdrawal of accommodation to ensure that inflation remains within the target going forward, while supporting growth.

While the central bank retained its CPI inflation projection at 6.7 per cent for FY23, it downgraded the real GDP growth projections for FY23 to 7 per cent from 7.2 per cent and FY24 at 6.5 per cent. CPI is likely to remain above 6 per cent for the first three quarters of FY23.

Elevated imported inflation pressures remain an upside risk for the future trajectory of inflation, amplified by the continuing appreciation of the US dollar, it said. “We believe that a 35 bps rate hike in December looks imminent but beyond December it would be touch and go,” the report said.

The dollar wrapped up its biggest quarterly climb in at least seven years last week along with its largest four-month advance since November 2008 — the latest chapter in what has been a historic year for the greenback, MarketWatch reported.

In September, a month where the dollar briefly touched its highest level since 2002, the dollar index rose 3.2 per cent, marking its best month since April, when it rose 4.73 per cent.

Thanks to its strong gains during the first nine months of the year, the dollar could be on track for its best annual performance since 2014, when the dollar index rose nearly 13 per cent, MarketWatch reported.

Many of the dollar index’s key components have also weakened precipitously against the greenback as the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes have boosted the greenback relative to its foreign rivals.

OPEC+ said Wednesday that it will slash oil production by 2 million barrels per day, the biggest cut since the start of the pandemic, CNN reported.

The group of major oil producers, which includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, announced the production cut following its first meeting in person since March 2020. The reduction is equivalent to about 2 per cent of global oil demand.

The price of Brent crude oil rose more than 1 per cent to nearly $93 a barrel on the news, adding to gains this week ahead of the gathering of oil ministers. US oil was up 1.5 per cent to $87.75, CNN reported.