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IMF Urges Italian Banks to Take Further Steps to Cut Bad Loans

Italian banks should take additional measures to materially reduce their pile of soured debt and improve efficiency, according to a report from the International Monetary Fund. “Banks’ non-performing loan reduction and restructuring strategies should be ambitious, and credible, aided by supervisory assessments,” the Washington-based IMF said Thursday after its annual review of the country’s economy and finances. Italian banks are struggling to rid themselves of about 313 billion euros ($366 billion) of soured loans that are holding back credit and weighing on the country’s weak recovery. In June the government ...

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Latin America confidence, domestic demand remain weak, warns IMF

The recovery among several Latin American economies is expected to continue into 2018, according to the latest note from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but low confidence in the region and weak domestic demand are predicted to drag on growth. “After disappointing growth in the past few years, economic activity in Latin America remains on track to recover gradually in 2017–18 as recessions in a few countries—notably Argentina and Brazil—are coming to an end,” the Fund noted in a blog post entitled “Latest Outlook for The Americas: Back on Cruise ...

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India’s economy will pick up pace next year: IMF

India will stay ahead of China in the growth sweepstakes in 2017 as well as 2018, said the International Monetary Fund (IMF), while retaining the country’s GDP forecast at 7.2 cent for the current fiscal year. According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Update, India’s growth is projected to accelerate to 7.7 per cent in 2018-19, from the 7.2 per cent forecast for 2017-18. While the multilateral agency has retained India’s growth estimate as provided in the World Economic Outlook (WEO) in April, in the case of China, the forecast ...

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IMF sees negligible rise in costs from moving London clearing after Brexit

The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that it foresaw only a modest increase in transaction costs if clearing and other financial activities are moved from the City of London to the European Union after Brexit. The forecast, published in the Fund’s annual report on the euro zone, contrasts with British claims that splitting European securities markets would increase costs and damage EU economies. Clearing of euro-denominated securities is dominated by London, but it could be relocated to the EU when Britain leaves the bloc. “Brexit is likely to transform ...

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Vital for Greece to keep up reforms to secure debt market access – IMF

The IMF told Greece on Wednesday that it was critical to keep up its drive on reforms in order to successfully conclude its bailout programme and regain access to debt markets. Greece sold debt to private investors for the first time in three years on Tuesday, making a significant first step towards to the financial independence it will need when its third bailout ends in August next year. It said more debt issues would follow. “The Greek authorities still have a full agenda ahead. Consistent policy implementation will be critical ...

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IMF: ECB Move to End Accommodation Would Be ‘Premature’

The immediate outlook for economic growth in the eurozone is “favorable, ” but that shouldn’t distract attention from deep-seated problems that continue to threaten the currency area’s cohesion, the International Monetary Fund warned. The eurozone economy has gained momentum this year, outpacing the U.S. in the first quarter and likely to come close to matching it in the second. There is also a sense of relief among mainstream politicians at having seen off challenges from parties hostile to the euro and the European Union in elections in the Netherlands and ...

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OECD: Governments should address fall in public investment as costs stabilise

Governments have responded differently to new demands on them since the global crisis, with many raising spending on social services, some trimming public sector employment and most stabilising day-to-day running costs at a lower level. Countries should now seek to correct the steady decline in public investment since 2009, according to a new OECD report. Government at a Glance 2017 finds that government spending averaged 40.9% of GDP in OECD countries in 2015, up from 38.8% in 2007, before the crisis. The number of government jobs as a share of ...

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OECD employment rate increases to 67.4% in the first quarter of 2017

OECD area employment rate – defined as the share of people of working-age in employment – increased by 0.2 percentage point in the first quarter of 2017, to 67.4%. In the same period, the OECD labour force participation rate (i.e. the share of people of working-age who are either employed or unemployed) increased by 0.1 percentage point, to 71.8%. Employment rates rose in most OECD countries, with Estonia (up 1.7 percentage points, to 73.8%) and Slovenia (up 1.4 percentage points, to 68.1%) registering the highest increases. Among larger OECD economies, ...

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IMF Sees U.S. Fading as Global Growth Engine

The world is leaning less on its biggest economy to sustain the global recovery, according to the International Monetary Fund. The fund left its forecast for global growth unchanged in the latest quarterly update to its World Economic Outlook, released Monday in Kuala Lumpur. The world economy will expand 3.5 percent this year, up from 3.2 percent in 2016, and by 3.6 percent next year, the IMF said. The forecasts for this year and next are unchanged from the fund’s projections in April. Beneath the headline figures, though, the drivers ...

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IMF maintains global growth forecasts; China, eurozone revised higher

The International Monetary Fund kept its growth forecasts for the world economy unchanged for this year and next, although it revised up growth expectations for the eurozone and China. In an updated World Economic Outlook published on Monday, the IMF said global gross domestic product would grow 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018, unchanged from estimates issued in April. “While risks around the global growth forecast appear broadly balanced in the near term, they remain skewed to the downside over the medium term,” the IMF said in ...

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IMF Sees 2017 Saudi Growth ‘Close to Zero’ on Oil Prices, Cuts

Saudi Arabia’s economy will stall this year with growth “close to zero” due to lower oil revenue, the International Monetary Fund said. The fund lowered its 2017 growth forecast to 0.1 percent from 0.4 percent, citing OPEC production cuts, uncertainty over oil prices and the structural reforms the country is undertaking to reduce its reliance on crude, it said in a statement on Friday concluding its Article IV consultation. The IMF also lowered its non-oil growth projection to 1.7 percent from 2.1 percent — compared with actual growth of 0.2 ...

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Greece Approved for $1.8 Billion Conditional Loan From IMF

The International Monetary Fund agreed to a new conditional bailout for Greece, bringing to an end two years of speculation whether it would participate in a rescue program, and granting a seal of approval demanded by many of the country’s euro-area creditors. The Washington-based fund said Thursday its executive board approved “in principle” a new loan worth as much as $1.8 billion. The disbursement of funds is expected to be contingent on euro-zone countries providing debt relief to Greece, though the fund didn’t specify the terms in a short statement ...

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IMF Raises Spain’s 2017 Economic Growth Forecast

Spain’s economy is expected to expand by 3.1% this year, the International Monetary Fund said Tuesday, a more robust pace than the organization had previously forecast. Strong consumption, investment and exports have helped to keep Spain’s four-year economic recovery on track. The country’s gross domestic product likely surpassed its pre-crisis level in the second quarter of this year, the IMF said. Spain’s economy could end up growing more than 3.1% in 2017, the IMF said, if momentum from past reforms accelerates more than expected. Spain restructured its banking sector and ...

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BRAZIL: IMF Increases GDP Growth Forecast For 2017, Cuts 2018 Estimate

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised Brazil’s economic growth forecast for this year but reduced its expansion estimate for 2018, highlighting the political uncertainty in the country. According to the IMF, the Brazilian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should rise by 0.3% in 2017 and 1.3% in 2018. In April, the growth forecasts were at 0.2% and 1.7%, respectively. “The severe Brazilian economic recession seems to be nearing an end,” IMF said in the report. In the medium term, according to the IMF, Brazil’s GDP should move to an annual expansion ...

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France has “unique window of opportunity” to reform – IMF

France has a “unique window of opportunity” as growth picks up to tackle its weak public finances and high unemployment while reversing its decline in competitiveness, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. The IMF said after its annual country review the new French government’s plans to focus on cutting spending was “appropriate” and also deemed its push to make its employment laws more flexible as “broad and ambitious”. Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron’s plans to gradually cut corporate tax to 25 percent from 33.3 percent while setting a flat 30 ...

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