IMF's Christine Lagarde compares the world economy to a cross-country skier

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde giving a press conference ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland, on Jan 21, 2019.
International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde giving a press conference ahead of the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland, on Jan 21, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

DAVOS (BLOOMBERG) - It didn't take long for the ski metaphors to start at this year's Davos.

Delivering the IMF's World Economic Outlook on Monday (Jan 21) in the snow-covered Swiss resort, managing director Christine Lagarde compared the global economy's current situation to the travails of a cross-country skier.

She even asked the room of journalists how many practise the sport (only a few raised their hands).

"What do you like when you're a cross-country skier? You like good visibility, no uncertainty," Lagarde said at a press conference on the first day of the World Economic Forum.

She also said it's better when things are stable, there are no hazards and "everybody is skiing in the tracks", perhaps a reference to governments - and others - playing by the agreed rules.

But that's not the case right now for the world economy, which is like a cross-country skier who's hit some bumps and is struggling to keep from careening of course.

The IMF on Monday cut its forecasts for the second time in three months, predicting 2019 world growth will be at the weakest pace in three years, and warning fresh trade tensions would spell further trouble.

 

"So the cross-country skiing is going to be more laborious," Lagarde said. "More efforts are going to be required."