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Economy

IMF: Global growth projections hold steady; eurozone revised downward

While overall global growth projections remain unchanged, eurozone growth has been revised downward by the International Monetary Fund.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, updating projections made in April, the IMF left global growth projections for 2018 and 2019 unchanged at 3.9% for each year. However, the IMF said the rate of expansion appears to have peaked in some major economies, with growth becoming less synchronized.

The eurozone in particular has seen growth projections revised downward, with France, Germany and Italy suffering in particular. Overall growth in the eurozone is projected at 2.2% for 2018, down 0.2 percentage points vs. figures in April, and 1.9% for 2019, down 0.1 percentage points over the period.

Growth in France in 2018 is projected to fall to 1.8% vs. a 2.1% forecast in the April figures; while growth in 2019 was also revised downward by 0.3 percentage points, to 1.7%.

Germany's 2018 growth is forecast at 2.2%, down from 2.5% in the April update; but the country's growth was revised upward to 2.1% for 2019, increasing 0.1 percentage point.

Italy is set to grow 1.2% this year, down from 1.5% in the previous projection; and by 1% in 2019, down from 1.1%.

The U.K.'s growth in 2018 was also revised downward, to 1.4% from 1.6% in the previous update. Growth in 2019 was unchanged at 1.5%.

Elsewhere in the world, Japan's growth was projected at 1%, down from 1.2% in the April update for 2018, while 2019's projections remained at 0.9%. The U.S. is still expected to grow at 2.9% in 2018 and 2.7% in 2019.

"Growth projections have been revised down for the euro area, Japan and the United Kingdom, reflecting negative surprises to activity in early 2018," said the IMF in a statement accompanying the outlook. "Among emerging market and developed economies, growth prospects are also becoming more uneven, amid rising oil prices, higher yields in the United States, escalating trade tensions, and market pressures on the currencies of some economies with weaker fundamentals."

The IMF added that risk has shifted further to the downside, citing announced and anticipated tariff increases by the U.S., along with retaliatory measures by trading partners, "increasing the likelihood of escalating and sustained trade actions. These could derail the recovery and depress medium-term growth prospects, but through their direct impact on resource allocation and productivity and by raising uncertainty and taking a toll on investment," the IMF said.