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IMF: Global Economic Growth 'Disappointing'

  • Jim Randle

In this April 8, 2016 file photo, people are reflected on the electronic board of a securities firm in Tokyo. The IMF downgraded its outlook for growth for most regions and for the global economy as a whole.

In this April 8, 2016 file photo, people are reflected on the electronic board of a securities firm in Tokyo. The IMF downgraded its outlook for growth for most regions and for the global economy as a whole.

The International Monetary Fund says global economic growth has been "too slow for too long" and that this "disappointing" growth rate could worsen.

The IMF's newest World Economic Outlook cuts the global growth forecast two-tenths of a percent to 3.2 percent.

The agency's researchers also say the U.S., Japanese and European Union economies will grow more slowly than previously estimated. The study says China is likely to grow slightly faster than previously expected.

The IMF says recent global financial turbulence saw investors growing more worried and more timid, abrupt sell-offs of risky assets, higher interest rates for loans to emerging market nations and sharp falls in prices for oil and other commodities. Continued "violent instability" in many nations, including Syria, has created a "humanitarian disaster" as millions of refugees seek safety in other nations.

The authors say the surge of refugees to Europe, coupled with other economic strains, is prompting a rising tide of "inward-looking nationalism" that hurts economic integration. The report also expresses worries about the backlash in the United States against open trade.

The report calls on policymakers to take advantage of current low interest rates to invest in infrastructure and research, providing an immediate and long-term boost in growth and jobs.

The IMF also calls on national leaders to prepare to cope with economic troubles, warning that the fragile global economy leaves "less room for error."

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