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IMF Cuts Global Economic Growth Forecast

  • VOA News

File - Olivier Blanchard, research chief at the IMF, speaks at the Managing Capital Flows in Emerging Markets conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

File - Olivier Blanchard, research chief at the IMF, speaks at the Managing Capital Flows in Emerging Markets conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The International Monetary Fund trimmed its 2015 global economic forecast Thursday, saying the main culprit was weaker growth in the United States, the world's largest economy.

The IMF is predicting 3.3 percent growth across the world this year, down from its 3.5 percent prediction in April. With foul winter weather in early 2015, the American economy contracted two-tenths of a percentage point in the first quarter, and the IMF has cut its U.S. growth forecast for the year to 2.5 percent, just slightly above the 2014 figure.

But the Washington-based agency is projecting three percent growth in the United States in 2016, with global growth accelerating to 3.8 percent.

IMF research chief Olivier Blanchard downplayed the effect of the Greek debt crisis and Athens' bid for a new bailout to keep from being ousted from Europe's 19-nation euro currency bloc.

"The effects on the rest of the world economy are likely to be limited," he said.

Similarly, he said IMF analysts do not view the recent plunge in Chinese stock values "as a major macroeconomic issue." The IMF kept its forecast for Chinese economic growth unchanged at 6.8 percent for this year and 6.3 percent in 2016.

The IMF said the growth in emerging market economies will slow from 4.6 percent last year to 4.2 percent in 2015, partly because of lower commodity prices.

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