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U.S. dip a “splutter” not a slump, says IMF chief economist

The dip in the U.S. economy is a “splutter” rather than a more serious downturn, the International Monetary Fund’s chief economist said, though policy uncertainty in Washington was making forecasting increasingly difficult. In an interview with Reuters, Maurice Obstfeld, who is nearing his two-year anniversary as the IMF’s top forecaster, said China’s economy was also slowing, though both the euro zone and Japan were performing better than expected. The Fund’s last set of forecasts in mid April nudged up its global growth projections to 3.5 percent for this year and ...

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OECD says ‘basic income’ reform would need more taxes

Welfare reforms that would introduce public payment of an unconditional basic income to everyone of working age are worth exploring but would do little to combat poverty if not financed by extra tax, the OECD said. It published a paper examining a long-discussed reform that is making headlines again amid labour market upheavals due in part to increasing use of robots, with Finland running a pilot project and Italy’s opposition 5-Star Movement promising a “citizen’s wage” should it win power. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said that, if ...

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IMF needs more realism in euro zone assumptions on Greece

The International Monetary Fund needs to see more realistic euro zone assumptions about Greece’s economy and more detail on planned debt relief measures to join a bailout, IMF’s European Department head Poul Thomsen said. Thomsen said the IMF and Greece’s euro zone lenders made progress in talks on Monday, but were not yet quite there. “We still think there is a need for more realism in assumptions and more specificity,” Thomsen said on Tuesday. The euro zone and the IMF agreed on Monday that Greece would have to keep a ...

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OECD Study: Climate action will boost economic growth for all G20 countries

Investments in climate action promote economic growth, while neglecting to do so will lead to a decline in growth rates. This is the main conclusion reached by a new study carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) which was presented today at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin. The study ‘Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth’ was supported by the Federal Environment Ministry and prepared in the context of the German Presidency of the G20. It shows that adopting a climate policy that is supported structurally ...

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IMF could join Greek bailout in three weeks – Eurogroup head

The International Monetary Fund could join the Greek bailout programme at the latest in three weeks, the head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers said on Monday at the end of a meeting which ended with no deal. Jeroen Dijsselbloem said that euro zone ministers were “very close” to an agreement with the IMF on the terms of additional debt relief for Athens, which is also instrumental to unlock new loans for Greece. He said negotiators agreed that Greece’s primary surplus – before interest payments – should remain ...

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IMF offers three-pillared prescription for African growth

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund’s regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It ...

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IMF International Monetary Fund : What Comes Next?

Commencement Address by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF Washington College – Chestertown, Maryland May 20, 2017 Thank you, President Bair, for your very kind introduction. Your leadership of this school – especially your commitment to alleviate the burden of student debt – is a model for higher education. You are a trailblazer in your own right, and your passion for Washington College is inspiring. President Bair, Board of Visitors & Governors, faculty, and administration, thank you for this honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. I am proud to ...

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IMF improves Russia 2017 economic growth forecast to 1.4 percent

The International Monetary Fund improved its forecast for Russia’s economic growth this year to 1.4 percent, saying easier financial conditions and higher oil prices would help drive a recovery, a regular IMF report showed. The Fund, which in October forecast the economy would grow by 1.1 percent this year, said Russia was exiting a two-year recession thanks to an effective policy response from the government and because the country had robust buffers. The IMF cautioned, however, that Russia’s medium-term economic outlook would remain subdued, seeing annual economic growth at around ...

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Don’t tighten fiscal policy too fast, IMF warns Saudis

The International Monetary Fund warned Saudi Arabia on Wednesday not to tighten fiscal policy too fast, saying rapid cuts to the government’s budget deficit could damage the economy. Tim Callen, head of an IMF team which held annual consultations with Saudi officials last week, said Riyadh’s goal of balancing its budget was appropriate. Low oil prices in the past couple of years have pushed it deep into the red. But Callen added, “The target of balancing the budget, however, does not need to be met in 2019 as set out ...

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IMF urges Germany to invest in infrastructure, raise wages

Germany should use its rising tax revenues to invest in infrastructure projects that will enhance its growth potential, and encourage employers to raise wages to help lift euro zone inflation, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. The IMF recommendations run counter to the thinking of Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who last Thursday announced higher tax revenue estimates for this year and rejected criticism that Germany was not investing enough. In a report following its annual so-called Article IV meetings with the German authorities, the IMF said Germany’s large and ...

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IMF, euro zone say need more time to reach Greek debt relief deal

The International Monetary Fund and euro zone government lenders need more time to reach an agreement on debt relief for Greece because the euro zone is still not sufficiently clear in its intentions, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said on Friday. Top euro zone officials and Lagarde met on Friday on the sidelines of a G7 finance ministers meeting in the Italian port city of Bari to discuss debt relief which the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers promised in May 2016, under strict conditions. “We will carry on working on ...

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IMF spokesman says no deal reached on Greek debt

The International Monetary Fund’s discussions on Greece’s debt are ongoing and no deal has been reached, IMF spokesman William Murray said on Thursday. On Wednesday Slovakia’s finance minister, Peter Kazimir, said the IMF was likely to take part in the financing of Greece’s third bailout. Greece agreed earlier this month on further spending cuts to qualify for funding. In return, it wants measures to ease the strain of its debt, which now stands at 179 percent of gross domestic product. “Discussions on the debt side of the equation have only ...

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IMF likely to take part in Greek bailout, Slovak finance minister says

The International Monetary Fund is likely to take part in the financing of Greece’s third bailout, Slovakia’s finance minister, Peter Kazimir, said on Wednesday. Greece agreed earlier this month on further spending cuts to qualify for additional support. In return, it wants measures to ease the strain of its debt, which now stands at 179 percent of gross domestic product. The IMF also backs debt relief but is reluctant to participate in further funding without an agreement to ease the Greek burden which is says is unsustainable.. It has not ...

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Composite leading indicators point to stable growth momentum in the OECD area going forward

Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend six to nine months ahead, point to stable growth momentum going forward in the OECD area as a whole. Stable growth momentum is expected in the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the euro area as a whole,including France and Italy. Growth is anticipated to gain momentum in Germany and Canada. Amongst major emerging economies, CLIs continue to indicate growth gaining momentum in Brazil and Russia, while the CLIs for China and India signal ...

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IMF International Monetary Fund : Asia’s Dynamic Economies Continue to Lead Global Growth

The Asia and Pacific region continues to deliver strong growth, in the face of widespread concerns about growing protectionism, a rapidly aging society, and slow productivity growth, according to the IMF’s latest regional assessment. The Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific estimates growth for the region to increase this year to 5.5 percent from 5.3 percent in 2016. Growth will remain strong at 5.4 percent in 2018, as the region continues to be the leader of global growth. The report also cites the more favorable global environment with ...

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