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OECD Trims Global Growth Outlook On Trade Disputes

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The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development lowered the 2019 global growth outlook as escalating trade disputes hurt manufacturing and investment decisions.

In its latest Economic Outlook, published Tuesday, the Paris-based think tank forecast 3.2 percent growth for 2019 versus 3.3 percent estimated in March. The global growth outlook for 2020 was retained at 3.4 percent.

According to OECD, vulnerabilities stem from trade tensions, high policy uncertainty, risks in financial markets and a slowdown in China.

The biggest threat is the escalation of trade-restrictive measures, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría said.

The OECD cautioned that current growth rates are insufficient to bring about major improvements in employment or living standards.

"The fragile global economy is being destabilized by trade tensions," OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone said.

"Growth is stabilizing but the economy is weak and there are very serious risks on the horizon," Boone said. "Governments need to work harder together to ensure a return to stronger and more sustainable growth."

The OECD forecast the U.S. economic growth at 2.8 percent in 2019, which was seen slowing to 2.3 percent in 2020. In March, the OECD had forecast 2.6 percent growth for this year and 2.2 percent in 2020.

Growth in the euro area is seen at 1.2 percent this year and 1.4 percent next year. Both figures were revised up by 0.2 percentage points.

UK GDP is forecast to climb 1.2 percent in 2019 and 1 percent in 2020. The 2019 estimate was revised up from 0.8 percent and that for 2020 from 0.9 percent.

The organisation renewed calls for combining structural reforms in all euro area countries with additional public investment in low-debt European countries.

The agency said the sharper slowdown than already seen in China would pose important risks to both global growth and trade prospects. China's growth is expected to ease to 6.2 percent in 2019 and to 6 percent next year. These rates were left unchanged.

OECD urged governments to take actions to ensure a stronger economic future.

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