The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just released a report warning that economic growth worldwide is so fragile, policymakers in the top 20 economies, the so-called G20, must immediately prepare contingency plans. With repeated downgrading of its global growth forecasts, and further lowering of its projections likely, the IMF is in effect warning that the world stands on the precipice of a new global recession. It is urging policymakers in major sovereigns to prepare for future fiscal pump priming as a last measure to prevent further demand destruction.
Not surprisingly, the IMF report identifies two primary drivers of the underlying fragility of the global economy: China’s slowing economic growth combined with turmoil in her equity markets and the collapse of the benchmark price of oil, inflicting massive fiscal turmoil on the world’s leading petroleum exporting nations. These factors have decimated global commodities and equities and have sown panic in financial markets across the globe.
Is this a repeat of the period just before the onset of the global economic and financial crisis of 2008, or perhaps something different, and even more ominous? Time will tell.
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