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IMF forecast: Global growth will weaken this year to 3.3%

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By PAUL WISEMAN and MARTIN CRUTSINGER AP Economics Writers

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday downgraded its outlook for growth in the United States, Europe, Japan and the overall global economy and pointed to heightened trade tensions as a key reason.

The IMF expects the world economy to grow 3.3% this year, down from 3.6% in 2018. That would match 2016 for the weakest year since 2009. In its previous forecast in January, the IMF had predicted that international growth would reach 3.5% this year.

For the United States, IMF economists downgraded their growth forecast for this year to 2.3% from 2.9% in 2018.

The gloomier picture in the IMF's latest World Economic Outlook contributed to a selloff in stocks, with investors concerned that slower global growth could weaken corporate earnings. It comes on the eve of meetings in Washington this week of the IMF and its sister lending organization, the World Bank. Those meetings are likely to be dominated by discussions of how to combat growing risks to international growth.

"This is a delicate moment for the global economy," Gita Gopinath, the IMF's chief economist, said at a news conference, while cautioning that the fund does not foresee an international recession.


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