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IMF says Asia facing risks from rise in protectionism

World Bank

The International Monetary Fund said Asia’s economic outlook faces significant uncertainty and downside growth risks from any sudden tightening in global financial conditions or rise in protectionist trade policies.

The IMF, which last month raised its 2017 Asia-Pacific growth forecast to 5.5 percent from its previous October forecast of 5.4 percent, said loose monetary and fiscal policies across most of the region would underpin domestic demand.

The report comes at a time when policymakers around the region are wrestling with the challenge of how to navigate rising risks of protectionism under U.S. President Donald Trump, and a potential increase in funding costs as the Federal Reserve steps up the pace of rate hikes.

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