IMF Again Cuts Global Growth Forecast Amid Inflation, War in Ukraine
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IMF Again Cuts Global Growth Forecast Amid Inflation, War in Ukraine

The International Monetary Fund now sees growth slowing to 3.2% this year and 2.9% in 2023.

By YUKA HAYASHI
Wed, Jul 27, 2022 1:35pmGrey Clock 3 min

WASHINGTON—The International Monetary Fund lowered its outlook for global economic growth again for 2022 and 2023, as soaring inflation and the spillover from the war in Ukraine cut into household purchasing power around the world and prolonged pandemic lockdowns slowed China’s growth engine.

The international financial institution said Tuesday it now sees world economic growth slowing to 3.2% this year, compared with a 6.1% expansion in 2021. The group has repeatedly cut its forecast for 2022, from 4.9% in October, 4.4% in January and 3.6% in April.

Growth is expected to further slow to 2.9% in 2023, significantly slower than the 3.6% expansion projected in April.

The IMF warned the actual outcomes could be worse, citing a series of downside risks. Among them are a sudden stop of European gas imports from Russia; stubborn inflation unrestrained by policy measures; debt distress in poorer nations induced by tighter global financial conditions; and a further slowdown in China triggered by renewed Covid-19 outbreaks and an escalation of its property sector crisis. And growing geopolitical fragmentation between Western democracies and Russia and China could impede global trade and economic policy cooperation, the group said.

“The risks to the outlook are overwhelmingly tilted to the downside,” the IMF said, adding that global growth could be as low as 2.6% in 2022 and 2% in 2023.

The latest forecasts reflect a sharp upward revision in the group’s inflation outlook. Further squeezing living standards for people around the world, consumer prices are expected to rise 6.6% in rich economies and 9.5% in emerging markets and developing nations this year, upward revisions of 0.9 and 0.8 percentage points, respectively, from April.

“We have higher inflation and it’s broader inflation. It’s not just energy and food. It’s seeping into services and goods, and it’s well ahead of central bank targets in most countries,” IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said in an interview. “That’s leading to an erosion of purchasing power. In many countries, wages have not been keeping up with price inflation.”

Mr. Gourinchas said taming inflation must be the first priority for policy makers, even if it means slowing down economic activities in the short term. “Bringing down inflation in a timely manner is also creating the conditions for stable growth and a stable macroeconomic environment in the years ahead,” he said.

He added that governments should use targeted fiscal policy support to help ease the impact of inflation on the most vulnerable, but that such measures must be paired with tighter spending elsewhere to avoid offsetting the effect of monetary policy to tame inflation.

The group sees worldwide inflation returning to near prepandemic levels by the end of 2024, after easing to 5.7% by late 2023.

Driving the downward revisions in global growth forecasts were slowdowns in the U.S. and China.

The IMF now sees U.S. growth slowing to 2.3% this year and 1% in 2023, compared with the expansion of 5.7% in 2021. In April, the group forecast the U.S. economy to grow 3.7% this year and 2.3% in 2023. The cut reflects significantly reduced private consumption amid price increases and the expected impact of tighter monetary policy by the Federal Reserve.

The IMF expects China’s growth to moderate to 3.3% this year from 8.1% last year and compared with an expansion of 4.4% seen earlier for this year. The activities slowed sharply in the world’s second-largest economy this year because of Beijing’s strict pandemic lockdown policy, as well as the worsening crisis in the country’s property sector, which is dragging down sales and real-estate investments.

“The slowdown in China has global consequences,” the IMF said. “Lockdowns added to global supply chain disruptions and the decline in domestic spending are reducing demand for goods and services from China’s trade partners.”

The war in Ukraine has had more negative impacts on European economies than earlier expected because of higher energy prices and weaker consumer confidence. Persistent supply chain disruptions and rising input costs are also weighing on their manufacturing sector. The IMF’s growth outlook for the euro area was cut to 2.6% in 2022 and 1.2% in 2023, compared with growth of 2.8% and 2.3% projected in April, respectively.

“We have a slowdown in the U.S., in China and in the euro area over 2022 and ’23,” Mr. Gourinchas said. “The three largest economies in the world are stalling right now. And of course the global economy is going to reflect that.”

One country that has fared better than earlier expectations is Russia. While the war in Ukraine has hurt its economy significantly, rises in oil and gas prices triggered by the war have increased the country’s export revenues, and thus funds to continue with the war. Mr. Gourinchas said that Russia’s central bank has also skillfully managed the impact of the economic sanctions imposed by Western governments by raising interest rates swiftly and preventing a financial meltdown. The IMF expects Russia’s economy to shrink 6% this year and 3.5% next year, compared with its April forecast for contractions of 8.5% and 2.3%, respectively.

Still, the actual economic contraction in Russia and in China caused the global gross domestic product to shrink in the second quarter—the first such phenomenon since 2020.



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Is ‘Rizz’ the Secret to Getting Ahead at Work?

Whether you call it charisma, charm or magnetism, some people seem like naturals. Good news: It can be learned.

By Rachel Feintzeig
Mon, Jul 22, 2024 4 min

Great leaders have it. Gen Z has a new word for it. Can the rest of us learn it?

Charisma—or rizz , as current teenage slang has anointed it—can feel like an ephemeral gift some are just born with. The chosen among us network and chitchat, exuding warmth as they effortlessly hold court. Then there’s everyone else, agonising over exclamation points in email drafts and internally replaying that joke they made in the meeting, wondering if it hit.

“Well, this is awkward,” Mike Rizzo, the head of a community for marketing operations professionals, says of rizz being crowned 2023 word of the year by the publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary. It’s so close to his last name, but so far from how he sees himself. He sometimes gets sweaty palms before hosting webinars.

Who could blame us for obsessing over charisma, or lack thereof? It can lubricate social interactions, win us friends, and score promotions . It’s also possible to cultivate, assures Charles Duhigg, the author of a book about people he dubs super communicators.

At its heart, charisma isn’t about some grand performance. It’s a state we elicit in other people, Duhigg says. It’s about fostering connection and making our conversation partners feel they’re the charming—or interesting or funny—ones.

The key is to ask deeper, though not prying, questions that invite meaningful and revealing responses, Duhigg says. And match the other person’s vibes. Maybe they want to talk about emotions, the joy they felt watching their kid graduate from high school last weekend. Or maybe they’re just after straight-up logistics and want you to quickly tell them exactly how the team is going to turn around that presentation by tomorrow.

You might be hired into a company for your skill set, Duhigg says, but your ability to communicate and earn people’s trust propels you up the ladder: “That is leadership.”

Approachable and relatable

In reporting this column, I was surprised to hear many executives and professionals I find breezily confident and pleasantly chatty confess it wasn’t something that came naturally. They had to work on it.

Dave MacLennan , who served as chief executive of agricultural giant Cargill for nearly a decade, started by leaning into a nickname: DMac, first bestowed upon him in a C-suite meeting where half the executives were named Dave.

He liked the informality of it. The further he ascended up the corporate hierarchy, the more he strove to be approachable and relatable.

Employees “need a reason to follow you,” he says. “One of the reasons they’re going to follow you is that they feel they know you.”

He makes a point to remember the details and dates of people’s lives, such as colleagues’ birthdays. After making his acquaintance, in a meeting years ago at The Wall Street Journal’s offices, I was shocked to receive an email from his address months later. Subject line: You , a heading so compelling I still recall it. He went on to say he remembered I was due with my first child any day now and just wanted to say good luck.

“So many people say, ‘Oh, I don’t have a good memory for that,’” he says. Prioritise remembering, making notes on your phone if you need, he says.

Now a board member and an executive coach, MacLennan sent hundreds of handwritten notes during his tenure. He’d reach out to midlevel managers who’d just gotten a promotion, or engineers who showed him around meat-processing plants. He’d pen words of thanks or congratulations. And he’d address the envelopes himself.

“Your handwriting is a very personal thing about you,” he says. “Think about it. Twenty seconds. It makes such an impact.”

Everyone’s important

Doling out your charm selectively will backfire, says Carla Harris , a Morgan Stanley executive. She chats up the woman cleaning the office, the receptionist at her doctor’s, the guy waiting alongside her for the elevator.

“Don’t be confused,” she tells young bankers. Executive assistants are often the most powerful people in the building, and you never know how someone can help—or hurt—you down the line.

Harris once spent a year mentoring a junior worker in another department, not expecting anything in return. One day, Harris randomly mentioned she faced an uphill battle in meeting with a new client. Oh!, the 24-year-old said. Turns out, the client was her friend. She made the call right there, setting up Harris for a work win.

In the office, stop staring at your phone, Harris advises, and notice the people around you. Ask for their names. Push yourself to start a conversation with three random people every day.

Charisma for introverts

You can’t will yourself to be a bubbly extrovert, but you can find your own brand of charisma, says Vanessa Van Edwards, a communications trainer and author of a book about charismatic communication.

For introverted clients, she recommends using nonverbal cues. A slow triple nod shows people you’re listening. Placing your hands in the steeple position, together and facing up, denotes that you’re calm and present.

Try coming up with one question you’re known for. Not a canned, hokey ice-breaker, but something casual and simple that reflects your actual interests. One of her clients, a bookish executive struggling with uncomfortable, halting starts to his meetings, began kicking things off by asking “Reading anything good?”

Embracing your stumbles

Charisma starts with confidence. It’s not that captivating people don’t occasionally mispronounce a word or spill their coffee, says Henna Pryor, who wrote a book about embracing awkwardness at work. They just have a faster comeback rate than the rest of us. They call out the stumble instead of trying to hide it, make a small joke, and move on.

Being perfectly polished all the time is not only exhausting, it’s impossible. We know this, which is why appearing flawless can come off as fake. We like people who seem human, Pryor says.

Our most admired colleagues are often the ones who are good at their jobs and can laugh at themselves too, who occasionally trip or flub just like us.

“It creates this little moment of warmth,” she says, “that we actually find almost like a relief.”

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