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OECD growth upgrade to fire up tax debate

OECD growth upgrade to fire up tax debate

USA trade protectionism remains a threat to economic growth in Canada, according to the OECD.

The raised forecast was in part due to expectations that USA tax cuts would boost the world's biggest economy, it said.

While broadly more optimistic than only a few months ago, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development warned a trade war could threaten the outlook, and forecast that United Kingdom growth would lag all G20 countries due to Brexit uncertainties.

The OECD expects world economic growth to accelerate to 3.9 percent this year and next, from 3.7 percent in 2017. The higher forecast was in part due to the expectation that USA tax cuts would boost economic growth there, it said.

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OECD acting chief economist Alvaro Pereira warned the US President's announced tariffs of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminium, had left the global economy vulnerable to a tit-for-tat war.

The US economy, by contrast, is seen expanding by 2.9 per cent this year and 2.8 per cent next, helped by the simulative effect of tax cuts. "Stronger investment, the rebound in global trade and higher employment are helping to make the recovery increasingly broad-based".

The OECD predicted global GDP growth would increase to 3.9% in 2018 from 3.7% in 2017, which was the strongest performance since 2011.

"This could obviously threaten the recovery".

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The study said that there has been significant increase of 24 per cent in India's weapon import between 2008-12 and 2013-17. Surprisingly, India's long-time foe has slashed its imports despite its tensions with India and internal conflicts.

With Britain due to leave the European Union next year, its economic growth was seen easing to 1.1 percent in 2019, unchanged from the OECD's November estimate.

"Certainly we believe this is a significant risk, so we hope that it doesn't materialise because it would be fairly damaging".

Pro-EU Labour MP Chuka Umunna wrote that the growth in each of the three years ahead "is forecast to be far lower" than what was projected before the EU referendum, which he said was "thanks to Brexit". Prior OECD forecasts were for the United States to grow by 2.5% in 2018 and 2.1% in 2019.

Among G20 countries, only Russia's growth rate is estimated to have decreased 1.5 percent in 2017. In Germany, growth is seen coming it at 2.4 per cent this year and 2.2 per cent next, up from 2.3 per cent and 1.9 per cent previously.

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The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) raised its growth forecast for Canada to 2.2 per cent in 2018, up from 2.1 per cent it had forecast in November.