Financial market ‘correction’ not dramatic for global growth”: IMF

SAO PAULO, Aug 22, 2007 (AFP) – Financial markets turbulence probably will curb global economic growth slightly this year, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo Rato, said Wednesday. “It would not be surprising if (the turmoil) had a certain impact on growth, more intense in certain countries than in others,” Rato said at a news conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Asked whether the IMF would lower its 2007 global growth forecast of 5.2 percent, he acknowledged “it is possible, but not in a dramatic way,” suggesting a revision to “slightly above 5.0 percent.”

“We are facing a major financial correction on the credit market, in the context of a good economic situation worldwide, that will have some consequences for the economy, probably more for some than others,” he said.

Rato stressed that “the risks have increased but in the positive context of the world economy” where the fundamentals remain “good” regarding inflation, debt, trade and growth.

The IMF last month hiked its 2007 and 2008 growth forecasts to 5.2 percent, from 4.9 percent, citing robust growth in emerging markets, led by China, during the first half of the year.

Fears of a credit crunch spreading f