Analysis; IMF More Positive on Developing World

Manila Bulletin, April 5, 2008 | Go to article overview

Analysis; IMF More Positive on Developing World


WASHINGTON (dpa) - Developing countries are well-placed to weather the current economic crisis despite growth in the United States coming to a virtual halt, according to a report by the International Monetary Fund Thursday.

The IMF also said industrial nations with more developed mortgage and financial markets have been struck harder by a correction in housing prices than poorer countries, where fewer people have access to credit.

Growth in the United States has come to a "virtual standstill" and Europe will likely experience a downturn as a result of financial market turmoil and a tightening of credit markets, said Simon Johnson, the IMF's economic counsellor and director of the research department.

Media reports Thursday said the IMF was set next week to cut its forecast for economic growth in the US for 2008 to 0.5 percent from 1.5 percent.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told the French Le Figaro newspaper that the US growth prognosis from January had to be adjusted downwards, though he did not provide figures.

But poorer nations by contrast will see less of a spillover from the housing crisis into the wider economy, according to the analytical chapters of the IMF's twice-annual World Economic Outlook.

Developing countries have a "strong basis for sustaining their growth" through a rise in manufacturing exports and a surge in commodity prices that has fuelled the integration of the world's economies. …

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