"This is a delicate moment for the global economy", Gopinath said.
Economic growth for 2020 was left unchanged from the previous forecast as economic activity is expected to pick up pace from the second half of this year, the International Monetary Fund said.
The world economy is expected to grow by 3.3% this year, lower than the previous forecast of 3.5%.
The global volume of trade in goods and services will up 3.4 % this year, weaker than the 3.8% gain in 2018.
With respect to the perceived recovery in 2020, the economist said it is "precarious", adding that it is based on the assumption that "a rebound occurs in emerging market and developing economies". "This pickup is supported by significant policy accommodation by major economies, made possible by the absence of inflationary pressures despite closing output gaps".
One potential misstep lies in Britain's indecision over how to leave the EU. -China agreement to resolve their trade disputes. "A deterioration in market sentiment could rapidly tighten financing conditions in an environment of large private and public sector debt in many countries, including sovereign-bank doom loop risks" she said.
She said governments may need to open their pocketbooks at the same time "across economies" if the slowdown becomes more serious, adding that looser monetary policy might also be needed.
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Already, US tariffs on Chinese imports are hitting Chinese growth, while also weighing on Latin America and other areas dependent on Chinese demand for commodities.
China is expected to grow at 6.6 percent, 6.3 percent and 6.1 percent for 2018, 2019 and 2020, respectively.
Because of recent developments in the U.S.
According to World Bank data, growth in sub-Saharan Africa has been downgraded to 2.3 per cent for 2018, down from 2.5 per cent in 2017, according to the April, 2019, issue of Africa's Pulse, the World Bank's bi-annual analysis of the state of African economies released, Monday.
"This could result in higher US interest rates, renewed dollar appreciation, and tighter financial conditions for emerging market and developing economies with balance sheet vulnerabilities", the report said.
"Beyond 2020, global growth is set to plateau at about 3.6 per cent over the medium term, sustained by the increase in the relative size of economies, such as those of China and India, which are projected to have robust growth by comparison to slower-growing advanced and emerging market economies, even though Chinese growth will eventually moderate", Gita Gopinath, chief economist at International Monetary Fund, said.
The unemployment rate was seen more or less steady, although the forecasts for this year of 5.5 percent and 5.4 percent next year were slightly higher than the 5.3-percent jobless rate posted last year.
The IMF said that to secure its growth prospects, it is essential that India continues to implement structural and financial sector reforms and makes an effort to reduce public debt through continued fiscal consolidation.