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Mounting trade conflict threatens world economy, OECD warns

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Financial Times
By Chris Giles (Sep 20, 2018)

Tit-for-tat tariffs between the US and its partners are already damaging the global economy and pose a greater threat next year as trade slows down, the OECD said on Thursday.

In its interim economic outlook, issued days after Washington and Beijing announced some of the most sweeping tariffs for decades, the Paris-based international organisation said that to date the effect of the trade tensions had been “mild”.

But it added that the tariffs risked becoming more detrimental to global growth, which the OECD said had now “plateaued”.

Laurence Boone, the OECD’s chief economist, said: “Look at goods trade growth, it is now slower than [gross domestic product growth]. Export order books have been coming down pretty much across the board.”

The forecasts expect the world economy to grow 3.7 per cent this year and next, a healthy rate compared with the early years of this decade. But the OECD has cut its growth expectation from its May forecasts by 0.1 percentage point in…

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