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International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday the chance of global growth falling below 2 per cent next year was increasing due to continued effects of the war in Ukraine and simultaneous slowdowns in Europe, China and the United States.

Georgieva told the Reuters NEXT conference that she was particularly concerned about the slowdown in China because the world’s second-largest economy has been a strong engine of global growth.

The IMF will update its economic outlook in January and the picture “has darkened recently on the basis of what we see in consumer sentiment, in investor sentiment,” she said.

The IMF in October cut its global growth forecast for 2023 to 2.7 per cent, compared to a 2.9 per cent forecast in July, amid colliding pressures from the war in Ukraine, high energy and food prices, inflation and sharply higher interest rates, warning that conditions could worsen significantly next year.

At the time, the IMF put a 25 per cent probability of global growth falling below 2 per cent next year – a phenomenon that has occurred only five times since 1970 – and said there was a more than 10 per cent chance of a global GDP contraction.

“We are concerned that this probability may be going a bit further up,” Georgieva said on Thursday, citing the impact of Russia’s “senseless war” in Ukraine on the economy of Europe, and the simultaneous slowdowns in the United States, Europe and China.