WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The global economic outlook is even gloomier than projected last month, the International Monetary Fund has cited a steady worsening in purchasing manager surveys in recent months.
It blamed the darker outlook on tightening monetary policy triggered by persistently high and broad-based inflation, weak growth momentum in China, and ongoing supply disruptions and food insecurity caused by Russia-Ukraine war.
The global lender last month cut its global growth forecast for 2023 to 2.7 percent from a previous forecast of 2.9 percent.
In a blog prepared for a summit of G20 leaders in Indonesia, the IMF said recent high-frequency indicators “confirm that the outlook is gloomier,” particularly in Europe.
It said recent purchasing manager indices that gauge manufacturing and services activity signaled weakness in most Group of 20 major economies, with economic activity set to contract while inflation remained stubbornly high.
“Readings for a growing share of G20 countries have fallen from expansionary territory earlier this year to levels that signal contraction,” the IMF said, adding that global fragmentation added to “a confluence of downside risks.”
“The challenges that the global economy is facing are immense and weakening economic indicators point to further challenges ahead,” the IMF said, adding that the current policy environment was “unusually uncertain.”
A worsening energy crisis in Europe would severely harm growth and raise inflation, while prolonged high inflation could prompt larger-than-anticipated policy interest hikes and further tightening of global financial conditions.
IMF managing director warned that a divided global economy would shrink by 1.5 percent annually, or by over $1.4 trillion.