International Monetary Fund raises Romania's 2018 GDP growth forecast to 5.1%

Last week the National Bank of Ukraine also said that its anticipations that Ukraine would attract $2 billion from the International Monetary Fund in 2018 are retained, although the central bank predicted that the new tranche would arrive early third quarter this year. However, the forecast for the next year worsened - down to 3.3 percent.

"Business confidence is likely to gradually firm up with the change in the political leadership, but growth prospects remain weighed down by structural bottlenecks", the worldwide lender said in its latest World Economic Outlook published in Washington.

But trade tensions, such as the United States and China's recent dueling tariff announcements, could take a direct toll on trade and economic activity and also cause financial market turmoil that would tighten financial conditions and hurt confidence. President Donald Trump's war of words with China over trade will be front and center.

Meanwhile, IMF Research Director Maurice Obstfeld cautioned that a trade war could put global growth at risk. He has also proposed imposing tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese imports to punish Beijing for its aggressive attempts to obtain foreign technology. Last year, the expansion covered two-thirds of countries, accounting for three-quarters of global output, making it the broadest upswing since 2010 when the world was coming out of the financial crisis. Financial markets have been choppy this year, with US stocks down slightly after a strong performance in 2017.

The IMF said prospects for developing economies to grow per-capita incomes face difficulties over the next five years, especially in commodity-exporting countries in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

He attributes the rosier USA outlook to federal tax cuts, a massive US$300 billion spending package, and the possibility of an additional spending or infrastructure bill.

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The WEO upgraded the United States, which is expected to expand by 2.9% in 2018 and 2.7% in 2019 - up from the 2.7% and 2.5% predicted in January.

The government here said it expects Asia's fourth-largest economy to advance 3 percent in 2018.

India's growth rate in 2016 was 7.1 per cent as against China's 6.7 per cent.

The IMF made only modest changes to its forecasts for the UK.

The world's second-biggest economy will continue rebalancing away from investment and manufacturing toward consumption and services, International Monetary Fund said, warning that rising debt clouds the nation's medium-term outlook.

India will grow 7.4% this year and 7.8% in 2019, both unchanged from January. The forecasts for this year and next have been raised.

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