Fix trade, don't destroy it, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde warns

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India's debt lower than emerging market economies in world: IMF |

Trump has justified the higher US tariffs as a response to the trade imbalance between the two countries, and China has swiftly responded with higher levies on USA imports. Both figures would mark the slowest rate of Chinese expansion since 1990, when its growth rate was slashed in the aftermath of the violent suppression of pro-democracy protests.

Prominent US academic Jeffrey Sachs was less diplomatic in his assessment of Trump's shepherding of American trade relationships, slamming the president's repeated claims that deficits with China and other nations meant Americans were being taken advantage of.

In addition to the revised outlook for the rest of this year, the International Monetary Fund has downgraded expectations for China in 2019 - from 6.6 percent to 6.2 percent.

This acceleration, the world body said, reflected a rebound from transitory shocks (the currency exchange initiative and implementation of the national Goods and Services Tax), with strengthening investment and robust private consumption. China's economy grew 6.9 percent in 2017. "Several of the downside risks highlighted in the April 2018 World Economic Outlook (WEO) ... have become more pronounced or have partially materialized".

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On-going concerns over Brexit negotiations and potential trade-wars involving the United States of America, as well as an overall slower than expected growth within the European Union are cited as the main reasons for the more negative global calculations.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim also warned against an escalation of the trade row, saying that if all countries maxed out their trade threats, "We'd see a clear slowdown in the economy and the impact on developing countries would be great".

"This is the United States trying stop China's growth - it's a awful idea", Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, told a seminar in Bali.

"Looking ahead, renewed impetus to reform labour and land markets, along with further improvements to the business climate, are also crucial", it said.

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s Financial Stability Report says that although banks are far safer than they were in 2008 there are new risks.

"I would certainly start with a tight monetary policy, higher non-oil revenue mobilization", the IMF boss said.

She explained that with global and public debt at an all-time high, any slight change could provoke capital outflows and economic instability in emerging markets. "However, it is projected to rise to 5.1 percent in 2019", the report said.

The report applied a stress to the USA public sector assets, heavily concentrated in public pension funds, mortgages and student loans, finding that a scenario involving a severe recession, higher long-term interest rates and rapid falls in stock and real estate prices would shrink United States public net worth by an equivalent of 26 per cent of GDP by 2020.

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