IMF Warns on Global Economy

Fund cuts growth forecasts and cites ‘alarmingly high’ risk of a steeper slowdown.

The International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecasts as the euro area’s debt crisis intensifies and warned of even slower expansion unless officials in the U.S. and Europe address threats to their economies.

The world economy will grow 3.3 percent this year, the slowest since the 2009 recession, and 3.6 percent next year, the IMF said today, compared with July predictions of 3.5 percent in 2012 and 3.9 percent in 2013. The Washington-based lender now sees “alarmingly high” risks of a steeper slowdown, with a one-in-six chance of growth slipping below 2 percent.

Europe’s Contraction

The 17-country euro area economy will contract 0.4 percent this year, 0.1 percentage point worse than forecast in July, and grow 0.2 percent in 2013, less than the 0.7 percent predicted three months ago, the IMF said.

Japan’s Trade

In economic releases in the Asia Pacific region today, Japan reported a larger-than-estimated 454.7 billion yen ($5.8 billion) current-account surplus. In Australia, business confidence recovered in September as the prospect of interest- rate reductions overshadowed weaker sentiment among miners and manufacturers, a private survey showed.

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