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IMF Slashes Global Economic Forecast

The International Monetary Fund has sharply lowered its economic forecast and now says the world economy will shrink for the first time in 60 years during 2009.

As the report was published Thursday, IMF officials urged governments to do more to fight the downturn.

The global lender said the world economy could shrink as much as one percent. The IMF study says advanced economies will suffer a "deep recession," with the United States economy declining at a 2.6 percent rate, and Japan falling at a sharp 5.8 percent.

The IMF cut growth projections for emerging and developing countries in half, saying they will expand 2.5 percent or less this year.

The report predicts a modest economic recovery in 2010 for most nations.

This global economic forecast is sharply lower than the IMF's projections issued in January, which predicted slow growth.

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