International Monetary Fund sees emerging Asia as top global growth engine


However, the fund said growth will be lower than expected after 2022, due to the higher budget deficit and the expiry of fiscal stimulus.

China reported Tuesday that its economy had grown 6.8 percent in the first quarter, maintaining the same pace as the fourth quarter.

The IMF raised its US growth projections by 0.2 percentage point from its January forecasts for both years, to 2.9 percent for 2018 and 2.7 percent for 2019.

However, the International Monetary Fund warns future growth prospects look challenging for advanced economies faced with ageing populations and low productivity growth, making it hard for household income growth to return to their pre-GFC pace.

But IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said those effects will fade quickly, causing growth to slow in subsequent years.

However, it warned that performance could be curtailed by trade barriers.

Despite the recent global economic upswing, public optimism about trade had been "eroded" by "long-standing trends of job and wage polarization, coupled with persistent sub-par growth in median wages", Mr Obstfeld said.

"Conflict could intensify if fiscal policies in the United States drive its trade deficit higher without action in Europe and Asia to reduce surpluses", he said.

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Its goals are to ensure the stability of the worldwide monetary system (exchange rates and global payments), to secure financial stability, facilitate worldwide trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty.

The WEO upgraded the U.S., which is expected to expand by 2.9% in 2018 and 2.7% in 2019 - up from the 2.7% and 2.5% predicted in January. Romania's current account balance showed a deficit of 172 million euro ($212 million) in the first two months of 2018, compared to a surplus of 72 million euro in the same period of past year.

Compared with forecasts issued in October 2017, the predictions for this year for the euro-area, Japan and the United States have all been raised by half a percentage point or slightly more.

China will grow 6.6% this year and 6.4% in 2019, the fund said.

Unemployment rate is projected to fall to 5% in 2017 from 4.6% in 2018 and 2019, according to the International Monetary Fund forecast. Both forecasts were unchanged from three months ago.

"Over the medium term, growth is expected to gradually rise with continued implementation of structural reforms that raise productivity and incentivise private investment", it added.

India will grow 7.4% this year and 7.8% in 2019, both unchanged from January.