SEOUL, The global economy is now on track towards growth, but trade spats between the United States and China could derail the recovery, an expert at Standard & Poor's Global Ratings said Wednesday.

"The synchronized global recovery is intact, but it is under threat from trade tensions between the U.S. and China," Vincent Conti, an economist at the global ratings agency, said in a forum in Seoul.

As of April 2018, the world economy is forecast to expand 3.9 percent this year, and the same growth rate is expected to be reached next year, according to the S&P.

Stressing that the U.S. trade deficit is not because of China but because of its insufficient amount of savings and tax cuts, Conti said the trade war "seems misfocused" and runs the risk of disrupting growth.

China may agree to buy more goods from the U.S. and throw some money around, but it only brings about near-term calm, failing to address problems fundamentally, he noted.

"The real economic issues between the two nations is how to boost mutual chances of investment and to protect intellectual property rights, among others," Conti said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency