The OECD said escalating trade conflicts were taking an increasing toll on confidence and investment on the global economy. Photo: Pixabay
INTERNATIONAL – The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Thursday predicted further slowdown in the global economy this year and in 2020, citing escalating trade tension and high policy uncertainty.

Updating its outlook, the OECD, which groups 36 of the world's leading economies, revised down its global growth forecast for 2019 and 2020 to 2.9 percent and 3 percent respectively – "the weakest annual growth rates since the financial crisis (in 2008), with downside risks continuing to mount."

The Paris-based organization had previously expected global growth to accelerate by 3.2 percent this year and by 3.4 percent next year. The figure was at 3.6 percent in 2018.

"The global economy is facing increasingly serious headwinds and slow growth is becoming worryingly entrenched," said Laurence Boone, OECD chief economist.

"The uncertainty provoked by the continuing trade tensions has been long-lasting, reducing activity worldwide and jeopardizing our economic future. Governments need to seize the opportunity afforded by today's low interest rates to renew investment in infrastructure and promote the economy of the future," she added.

In its interim growth outlook, the OECD painted a grim outlook for both advanced and emerging economies because "escalating trade conflicts are taking an increasing toll on confidence and investment, adding to policy uncertainty, aggravating risks in financial markets and endangering already weak growth prospects worldwide."

In a bid to end the gloom, the OECD recommended "greater structural reform ambition" to help offset the impact of the negative supply shocks from rising restrictions on trade and cross-border investment and enhance medium-term living standards and opportunities."

XINHUA