July 23, 2019 / 1:42 PM / a month ago

IMF says first-quarter global trade growth slowest since 2012, big downside risk

Shipping containers are seen at a port in Tokyo, Japan, March 22, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/Files

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Global trade expanded by just 0.5% in the first quarter of 2019 year-on-year, marking its slowest pace of growth since 2012, International Monetary Fund chief economist Gita Gopinath told reporters in Santiago, Chile on Tuesday.

The IMF on Tuesday lowered its forecast for global growth this year and next, warning that more U.S.-China tariffs, auto tariffs or a disorderly Brexit could further slow growth, weaken investment and disrupt supply chains.

Gopinath said the Fund did not see signs of a recession, but did see “significant downside risks” for global growth going forward.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Jonas Ekblom; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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