Boost for chancellor as OECD revises up growth

The global economy is expected to grow around 3.5 percent in 2018 compared to 3 percent in 2016, but the modest recovery may be derailed, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned in its latest economic outlook report.

"We have acceleration but I'm concerned about this really soft foundation to the recovery", OECD Chief Economist Catherine Mann said in an interview. This improvement largely reflects the combined effects of fiscal and structural initiatives in major economies, notably China, Canada and the U.S., together with a more expansionary stance in the euro area, the OECD said.

The OECD on Tuesday increased its United Kingdom growth forecast for 2017 to 1.6%, up from a previous estimate of 1.2%, presented in November past year. Now, more than ever, governments need to take actions that restore people's confidence while at the same time resisting turning inwards or rolling back numerous advances that have been achieved through greater worldwide co-operation'. In general, OECD expects improvement in world trade, especially in Asia, but believes that the growth will happen at a slower pace than that recorded before the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. The social cost of the crisis and the increased inequalities need to be addressed, to make growth more inclusive and to reduce pressures for protectionism and other populist responses.

"Equity valuations have increased significantly further in many major markets over the past six months, despite the large rise in nominal interest rates and with long-term nominal and real GDP growth expectations based on consensus forecasts barely changed", it stated.

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However, the "disconnect between financial markets and fundamentals, potential market volatility, financial vulnerabilities and policy uncertainties", could derail growth, it warned.

The moderate pace of growth is expected to continue in the euro area but is being held back in some countries by stubbornly high unemployment and underemployment - particularly of youth - as well as by banking sector weakness.

The new prediction is in line with the Eurozone's expected growth of 1.6% although due to Trump's spending promises the United States economy is forecast at 2.4% for 2017.

In Japan, fiscal easing and improvements to women's labor force participation will help GDP growth rise to 1.2 percent up by two percentage points from November forecast.

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That said, the OECD thinks solid domestic demand - supported by a robust labor market and improving wages - will buttress healthy fiscal expansion from President Donald Trump's new administration.

In China, growth is projected to slop to 6.5% this year and down again to 6.3% next year as the Chinese economy transitions from external demand and heavy industry towards domestic consumption and services.

Higher commodity prices and easing inflation are supporting a recovery from deep recessions in Brazil and Russian Federation.

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