As the International Monetary Fund prepares to reveal its semi-annual health check of the world economy this week, the noises coming from the Washington-based body of 189 countries are not as positive as they were six months ago. Investors are believed to fear that global growth is now starting to stutter after 2017- 2018 saw the best acceleration since 2011.
Christine Lagarde told an audience in Hong Kong last week that the rules that underpin global trade were "in danger of being torn apart" by protectionist forces in what the IMF managing director said would be "an inexcusable, collective policy failure".
She is most concerned over the tariffs on imported steel and aluminium which were then followed by US action specifically targeting China.
Alluding to the tariffs, Ms Lagarde warned that although "the current global picture is bright… we can see darker clouds looming."