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IMF warns of growing risks to improving global recovery

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AFP, Washington :
The global economic recovery is improving and picking up steam, but still faces a series of threats that could erode the improvements, especially the rise of protectionist rhetoric, the International Monetary Fund warned Tuesday.
The fund's semi-annual World Economic Outlook report revised global growth up to 3.5 percent for this year, one-tenth higher than the January forecast.
It was a rare upward revision to the growth forecast-the first in two years -- which has been consistently disappointing. For 2018, growth is expected to rise to 3.6 percent, and to 3.8 percent by 2022. "The global economy seems to be gaining momentum-we could be at a turning point. But even as things look up, the post-World War II system of international economic relations is under severe strain," IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld said.
The report warns of the "significant downside risks" to the outlook, which have gotten worse since January-among them, "the turn towards protectionism, leading to trade warfare," Obstfeld said in the foreword of the report.
Many of the concerns-including rolling back financial regulation, pulling away from the multilateral trading system.

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