The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its growth forecast for Japan, citing the global economic slowdown.
The IMF released its latest world economic outlook on Tuesday. It says Japan's economy will grow by half a percent this year, halving its previous forecast.
The outlook is even grimmer for 2017, when the scheduled consumption tax hike goes into effect. It says Japan is expected to become the only major nation whose economy is projected to contract, according to Japan's (NHK WORLD) radio. The IMF is urging Japan to boost its monetary policy and strengthen structural reforms that would contribute to growth and wage increases.
The IMF also downgraded its global growth outlook by 0.2 percentage points from its January forecast to a "modest" 3.2%. It says the global economic recovery has been increasingly weakened by sluggish trade in oil-producing and resource-rich nations due to China's slowdown.
The IMF raised its 2016 growth forecast for China by 0.2 points to 6.5% in consideration of Beijing's stimulus policy. It projects the world's second largest economy will grow at a slower 6.2% in 2017. It says the rebalanced and slower Chinese economy continues to pose a risk for the global economy.