• 09-JUN-2022

IMF Growth Slowdown / Lebanon / Tunisia

The International Monetary Fund sees further slowdown hitting global economic growth in 2022, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said on Thursday in Washington, DC, following moves by the World Bank and OECD to cut their own forecasts.

The IMF will publish the next revision of its World Economic Outlook report in July, and if it materializes that would be its third downgrade this year. In April, the IMF had already slashed its forecast for global economic growth by nearly a full percentage point to 3.6% in 2022 and 2023.

Fund spokesman Gerry Rice said that a number of factors including a slowdown in China, persistently high fuel and food prices and many Central Banks hiking rates were acting together to slow growth.

“We have inflation continuing to rise, particularly a number of advanced economies leading to the tightening of monetary policy. So, you know, we're seeing this confluence of crises which the Managing Director talked about the combination of all these things going in in the same direction of downside risks materializing. And so, again, I think we can reasonably you can reasonably expect that there will be a downward revision of the growth forecast for 2022 compared to what we were forecasting only a month-and-a-half ago,” Rice told reporters

Rice confirmed that the IMF had decided on a Resident Representative to fill the office in Beirut, as Lebanon’s economy continues to founder. The Fund usually puts an office or officials in capitals of countries that have active stabilization programs to monitor progress and liase with authorities.

“We continue to work with the authorities on the implementation of their comprehensive economic reform program. Complete and timely implementation of the first steps is key to initiate the process of addressing the deep-seated problems which Lebanon and the Lebanese people obviously face, and that have resulted in the deep crisis that that Lebanon faces and the large increases in poverty, which are of great concern,” said Rice.

And Tunisian authorities are working with the Fund to lay the groundwork for a stabilizing program.

“The IMF has received a request from the Tunisian authorities for an IMF supported program. We want to be a strong partner for Tunisia. We welcome the fact that the Tunisian authorities have published their proposed economic reform program. So we are now in technical discussions with the authorities. I would characterize those discussions, Heather, as advancing, and we hope that they will lead to a staff mission to start program discussions. Soon,” Rice announced.

A full transcription of the briefing can be found at Home (imf.org)