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IMF lowers global economic outlook


08:38, July 17, 2012

WASHINGTON, July 16 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday cut the projected world economic growth rates of this year and the next, as downside risks to the global growth loomed large, and it urged global policymakers to take bold action to boost growth.

The global economy would grow at 3.5 percent for the year of 2012, slightly lower than its estimate of 3.6 percent in April. It was forecast to pick up steam to expand 3.9 percent next year, 0.2 percentage point lower than its April prediction, the IMF said in its updated World Economic Outlook (WEO) report.

"In the past three months, the global recovery, which was not strong to start with, has shown signs of further weakness," said the IMF in its flagship report.

Advanced economies would grow at 1.4 percent this year, flat with the previous estimate. They would firm up to 1.9 percent in 2013, still 0.2 percentage point lower than its April prediction, the Washington-based global lender noted in its half-year checkup of the global economy.

The IMF trimmed its 2013 economic growth forecast of the eurozone to 0.7 percent, 0.2 percentage point lower than its previous estimate, while maintaining its projection of a 0.3 percent contraction for this year.

The European Union's new measures announced at the EU summit in late June were "steps in the right direction," the IMF said, adding that continued worsening of sovereign debt markets pressed for timely implementation of these measures and further progress on banking and fiscal union.

During an IMF press conference held on Monday,IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard urged European leaders to follow through on their commitment to bolster market confidence.

More efforts were needed from global policymakers to stabilize the financial market conditions and restore growth, as "time is running out," Jose Vinals, IMF's financial counselor, said at the press conference.

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