Sluggish Growth

By Isaac Cohen*

In Davos last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) welcomed the Phase One agreement between China and the United States and the announcement of a less traumatic BREXIT. Both are seen as “tentative signs” that global economic growth “may be stabilizing,” but at a sluggish pace. Global growth is now estimated by the IMF to increase 2.9 percent in 2019, with a modest increase to 3.3 percent projected for 2020, while global trade is expected to improve from the meager 1 percent increase registered in 2019.

Growth in the United States is estimated by the Fund at 2.3 percent in 2019 and projected to slow down to 2 percent in 2020. The question is if this sluggish growth will be enough to overcome some of the damages inflicted by the trade confrontation, particularly in some sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture and transportation. All three sectors were among the most severely hurt by the trade disputes in states which contributed decisively in 2016 to the electoral-college victory of President Donald Trump.

In China, before the announcement of the coronavirus epidemic, the Fund estimated 6.1 percent growth in 2019 and projected a slight decrease to 6.0 percent in 2020. Other emerging market and developing economies are estimated to grow 3.7 percent in 2019 and projected to grow 4.4 percent this year. Except in Latin America, with almost no growth of 0.1 percent in 2019, projected to increase to 1.6 percent in 2020.

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media.

About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA.Com (MLN). Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia (UDC). Email:

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