IMF chief economist says it’s getting harder to find bright spots in the global economy


International Monetary Fund chief economist Gita Gopinath speaks during a press conference in Washington D.C., on April 9, 2019.

Liu Jie | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

The outlook for the global economy keeps getting bleaker, the chief economist at the International Monetary Fund said Friday.

“As the year is progressing, it’s getting harder to find those bright spots,” Gita Gopinath told CNBC’s Steve Liesman. “There was the potential of recovery, and we’re still expecting that for many parts of the world … but I’ve got to admit it’s getting harder to see that.”

Gopinath’s comments come as economic growth overseas has slowed down. In Germany, the manufacturing sector is contracting. Meanwhile, China’s economy grew at its slowest pace in 27 years in the previous quarter.

The slowdown is taking place as China and the U.S. wage a trade war against each other.

China unveiled on Friday a series of tariffs targeting $75 billion in U.S. products. U.S. autos are among the goods being targeted. President Donald Trump escalated the already tense situation by ordering U.S. companies to move their operations out of China.

“Global growth is subdued and we describe it as fragile. There are many downside risks. One of the risks we keep flagging is risks on the trade front,” Gopinath said. “The developments that we’re seeing as recently as today give us great concern about what’s going to happen to growth going forward.”

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