Trump good for US economy in short term, says IMF chief

Donald Trump is likely to be good for the American economy in the short term, according to the head of the International Monetary Fund.

Christine Lagarde said the US president's plans for additional investment in US infrastructure and his likely tax reforms will boost America's economic fortunes.

However, she acknowledged that his policies will squeeze international markets.

"That's a tightening that is going to be difficult on the global economy and for which economies have to prepare," Ms Lagarde said during an event at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Asked how the world missed Mr Trump's rise and the UK's vote to leave the EU, Ms Lagarde described a creeping, "insidious" push toward anti-globalisation and protectionist thought.

"We have been saying globalisation is great, international trade is great - and it is," she said. "But we have not looked at those who were badly, negatively impacted."

She blamed those negative impacts in part on the rise of robots taking jobs, as well as the shrinking gains of the global middle class.

Ms Lagarde cautiously sidestepped questions on her thoughts about Mr Trump being in the White House by saying "this is really a work in progress, there's been of announcements, a lot of tweets, a lot of things being said".

Still, she stressed the importance of data and facts in making decisions.

"I know it's not fashionable at the moment, but I think that facts, figures (and) actual assessment of the reality matter and that we have to be honest about it," she said.

AP

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