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IMF: Global Growth Tepid; US Growth Slows

  • Jim Randle

FILE - Containers are seen unloaded from the Maersk's Triple-E giant container ship Maersk Majestic, one of the world's largest container ships, at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China, Sept. 24, 2016.

FILE - Containers are seen unloaded from the Maersk's Triple-E giant container ship Maersk Majestic, one of the world's largest container ships, at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China, Sept. 24, 2016.

The International Monetary Fund says global growth remains weak, and predicts that advanced economies will expand more slowly this year.

IMF economist Maurice Obstfeld says the “world economy has moved sideways,” expanding 3.1 percent this year and will speed up slightly in 2017.

In Tuesday’s report, the IMF cut the predicted U.S. growth rate to a "disappointing" 1.6 percent rate this year, while Japan and the eurozone got slight upgrades.

The IMF says slow growth in advanced nations has sparked a political movement that blames economic troubles on globalization.

The lender's experts say effort to erect trade barriers will hurt, not help the economic situation. Instead they urge national leaders to do more to help retrain workers displaced by trade.

The IMF also suggests that investment in infrastructure and education could improve long-term economic prospects in many nations.

Outside the advanced economies, emerging markets in Asia have done better, but Sub-Saharan Africa overall has not, as its commodity exporters have been hurt by low prices.

The report's authors also say central bank efforts to support growth with low interest rates would be more effective it they worked in coordination with structural changes that improve trade and stimulus provided by government spending on worthwhile projects.

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