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IMF Predicts Global Growth of 5.1% in 2006, 4th Year of Expansion


The International Monetary Fund says the world economy will enjoy strong growth in 2006, marking the fourth consecutive year of expansion.

The I.M.F. released its twice-yearly report on the global economy Thursday at a joint meeting with the World Bank in Singapore.

The lending agency predicts the world economy will grow 5.1 percent this year and 4.9 percent in 2007. Both forecasts are slightly higher than previous estimates in April.

But, the I.M.F. also warns of several economic threats, such as rising inflation, increasing oil prices, and a slowing of the U.S. housing market.

The report estimates the U.S. economy will slow from 3.4 percent growth this year, to a rate of 2.9 percent next year.

Meanwhile, the World Bank says Singapore's government may have violated an agreement by barring 28 foreign activists from entering the country to attend today's meeting.

Singapore says it banned the activists because they posed a security threat. They include two Filipinos who were deported from the city state on Wednesday.

Singapore's government has said it wants to prevent violent anti-globalization protests that have plagued I.M.F. and World Bank meetings in the past.

Singapore has allowed 700 accredited activists to gather at a specially designated site in the convention center where the meeting is being held.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters

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