IMF slightly improves global growth forecast, with optimism for Belgium

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has slightly improved its forecasts for global economic growth, based mainly on good performance in the US and emerging economies such as India and Brazil. There is optimism for Belgium, but not for the eurozone as a whole.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, released on Tuesday, the IMF expects the global economy to grow by 3.2 per cent this year, up from 3.1 per cent growth in January. The forecast for 2025 remains unchanged at 3.2 per cent.

Despite the improved forecast, the IMF warns that high financing costs and the withdrawal of government support are affecting short-term growth, and that medium-term projections remain at their lowest level in decades due to low productivity and global trade tensions.

Global recovery is steady but slow and differs by region, the report says. Against a sharp improvement in expected economic growth in the US, from 2.1 per cent in January to 2.7 per cent now, there is a gloomier outlook for the eurozone. Growth there is expected to be 0.8 per cent this year and 1.5 per cent in 2025. Previously, the IMF assumed growth of 0.9 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively.

In Germany, the eurozone’s largest economy, barely any growth is expected this year: 0.2 per cent, against 0.5 per cent in the previous outlook. In contrast, the IMF is slightly more positive about Belgium. The Belgian economy is forecast to grow by 1.2 per cent in both 2024 and 2025, after 1.5 per cent growth in 2023.


IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, research department deputy director Petya Koeva Brooks and division chief Daniel Leigh at a press briefing for its global economic forecasts in Washington DC, 16 April 2024 © MANDEL NGAN / AFP

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