IMF scales back growth projections to lowest since 2009

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday projected that global growth will slow to 3.3 percent this year, the lowest level since 2009.

Growth will improve to 3.6 percent in 2020, according to the Washington-based IMF's latest World Economic Outlook report.


The lowered projection for 2019 is the result of a slowdown in China, a loss of momentum in European consumer and business confidence and weakened demand in Asia, the IMF said.

Another major factor is global trade.

“Trade tensions increasingly took a toll on business confidence and, so, financial market sentiment worsened, with financial conditions tightening for vulnerable emerging markets in the spring of 2018 and then in advanced economies later in the year, weighing on global demand,” the report said.

The U.S. has played a major role in those trade tensions.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE has imposed a slew of tariffs on top U.S. trade partners, and he has threatened to impose further tariffs on automobiles.

The U.S. is in the midst of talks with China in an attempt to end the trade war between the world's two biggest economies. Trump also faces an uphill battle in Congress with his new North American Free Trade Agreement deal.

According to the IMF report, the outcome of trade policies could change the global growth outlook.

“A further escalation of trade tensions and the associated increases in policy uncertainty could further weaken growth,” the report noted.