IMF comments on projected economic growth

The world is facing new threats from escalating oil prices, turmoil in the Middle East, higher inflation in China and Europe’s debt, but the troubles should not be severe enough to derail recovery from the worst global recession since World War II, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

In a new economic forecast, the IMF said the global economy should grow 4.4 per cent this year.

The IMF projects industrial countries will grow 2.4 per cent while developing countries, a group that includes China, will grow more than twice as fast at 6.5 per cent.

The IMF’s new growth forecast was prepared for spring meetings of the 185-nation IMF and its sister lending agency, the World Bank.

Before those discussions on Saturday, finance ministers and central bank presidents of the Group of 20 major industrial and developing nations will hold closed-door talks on Friday.

The talks are expected to be dominated by discussions about how to provide economic support in response to the political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.

The finance officials will try to assess how big a threat the rise in energy and food prices will be and also what they can do collectively in response to the political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.

Economic growth in the 17 nations that use the euro including Slovakia, Germany, France and Italy was projected to be 1.6 per cent this year and 1.8 per cent next year, an anemic recovery that reflects continued worries that debt problems in Greece, Ireland and Portugal will spread to others.

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