The International Monetary Fund says the global economy grew at a faster than expected 3.7 percent pace in 2017 and will do better this year and next.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde called predictions of strengthening growth “very welcome news.” She spoke Monday in Davos, Switzerland, at the annual World Economic Forum.
IMF experts say 120 nations, representing three-quarters of the global economy, saw growth last year. IMF experts said tax cuts in the United States will have a positive but “short term” impact on the economy.
Lagarde urged political and economic leaders to take advantage of good times to make reforms that will soften the impact of the next, inevitable, economic downturn.
She said there is “significant” uncertainty in the year ahead, where a long period of low interest rates may have inflated the value of stocks and other assets to unsustainable levels. She also says a rise in debt levels is a concern.
Growth must be more inclusive, she added. She also said more efforts to retrain people displaced by automation, create opportunities for young people and bring more women into the labor force will all help.
Lagarde is only one of many leaders expected to speak at the Davos gathering. U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to address fellow heads of state and others later this week, but White House officials say Washington’s current political impasse that has shut down many normal functions of government make that trip “not very likely.”