The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is warning that economic uncertainty can come from the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas as the death toll continues to climb. The IMF announced Tuesday that it expects global economic growth to slow to 2.9 percent in 2024 — a down tick from the expected 3 percent this year. The forecast slightly below the 3 percent it predicted in July. At a press conference Tuesday, IMF economists warned that it may be too soon to tell what, if any, economic impacts will result from the escalating conflict in the Middle East. “The global economy is limping along, not sprinting,” IMF chief economist Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas said during the organization’s annual meeting. Gourinchas noted that it was “too early” to assess the long-term impacts of the days-long fight between Israel and Hamas but added that oil prices have risen by about 4 percent over the past several days. He said that a 10 percent increase in oil prices could decrease global economic growth by 0.15 percent and increase global inflation by 0.4 percent. “We’ve seen that in previous crises and previous conflicts. And of course, this reflects the potential risk that there could be disruption either in production or transport of oil in the region,” he said. This comes as the world continues to reel from a series of shocks to the economy over the past three years, including the COVID-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion into Ukraine and now Israel’s with Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that launched an unprecedented attack on the nation over the weekend. The U.S. has labeled Hamas as a terrorist organization. The ongoing fighting in Israel and the Gaza Strip has now killed at least 1,600 people on both sides of the conflict and injured thousands more.

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