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IMF chief says ‘Why not?’ to European Monetary Fund plan – paper

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has no objection to plans to turn the euro zone’s bailout fund into a European Monetary Fund, she said in comments published on Saturday. The European Commission has suggested transforming the role of the government-controlled European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a full-blown European Monetary Fund under parliamentary control and anchored in European Union law, which would also become a backstop for the euro zone’s bank resolution fund. The plan is backed by countries including France and Germany. “Why not?” Lagarde said in an interview ...

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Global economic fundamentals strong despite market volatility – IMF

Recent market volatility does not change the International Monetary Fund’s view that global economic fundamentals remain strong, and a market correction was probably inevitable given elevated asset prices, IMF chief spokesman Gerry Rice said on Thursday. “Despite the volatility in recent days, we believe financial conditions remain supportive of economic growth. Financial markets continue to function in an orderly way,” Rice told a regular weekly IMF news briefing. “The global economic recovery we expect to continue.” Source: Reuters (Reporting by David Lawder)

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IMF: UK Economy Must Get More Efficient

Brexit, as the UK’s decision to exit the European Union (EU) is commonly known, is weighing on the economy, even as growth is accelerating in the rest of the world. Higher prices, caused by a weaker pound, have limited increases in people’s spending, and uncertainty about the future relationship with the EU has kept some business investments on hold. In this situation, it will be even more important for the UK to raise productivity and balance its public finances, the IMF said in its latest annual assessment of the economy. ...

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OECD unemployment rate in December 2017 falls below its pre-crisis level

The OECD unemployment rate fell by 0.1 percentage point in December 2017, to 5.5%. This is 0.1 percentage point lower than the level just before the financial crisis (April 2008), reflecting an increase in the active population, with the total number of unemployed people, at 34.8 million, still remaining 2.2 million above its pre-crisis level. In the euro area, the unemployment rate was stable at 8.7% in December, but declined by 0.3 percentage point in Portugal (to 7.8%) and by 0.2 percentage point in Ireland (to 6.2%), Slovenia (to 6.2%) ...

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IMF’s Lagarde says market swings aren’t worrying, but wants reforms

Sharp swings in global financial markets in the past few days are not worrying since economic growth is strong but reforms are still needed to avert future crises, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund said. Christine Lagarde, speaking at a conference on global business and social trends in Dubai, said economies were also supported by plenty of financing available. “I’m reasonably optimistic because of the landscape we have at the moment. But we cannot sit back and wait for growth to continue as normal,” she said in her ...

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IMF chief economist sees strong world fundamentals despite market turmoil

World economic fundamentals are strong, despite recent stock market turmoil, with more trade, more investment and faster-than-expected growth in major economies, International Monetary Fund Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld said. “Right now in the last few days we’ve seen some market turbulence around the world, but the fundamentals are really strong,” Obstfeld said in a Facebook Live session. “We’ve been seeing the fundamentals improving since the middle of 2016 and we see very broad-based growth.” Source: Reuters (Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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IMF’s Lagarde Urges Urgent Action as Arab Discontent Bubbles

The Arab world must “take urgent action” to create jobs and increase social spending to contain simmering public discontent, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. “The public dissatisfaction that is bubbling up in several countries is a reminder that even more urgent action is needed,” Lagarde told a two-day conference on inclusive growth, held in the Moroccan city of Marrakesh. Governments in the region have struggled to meet popular expectations of more equitable economic growth and greater political freedom that were unleashed by the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the ...

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Lagarde Says Cryptocurrency Mining Is Consuming Too Much Power

Mining cryptocurrencies is far too energy intensive and is consuming as much electricity as a G-20 economy, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said. “The Bitcoins mining, which is this accelerated and augmented use of computers to actually determine the value and incentive the functioning of the mechanism, is energy angry,” Lagarde said in Bloomberg TV interview with Francine Lacqua and Tom Keene at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. “And we figure that in 2018 if it continues that system will actually consume as much ...

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IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde Meets Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Davos

Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made the following statement today in Davos, Switzerland: “It was a pleasure to meet with Prime Minister Tsipras in Davos today. I congratulated him on the progress Greece has achieved, a sentiment that was also reflected in the recent Eurogroup statement, and assured the Prime Minister of the Fund’s continued support for Greece’s adjustment program. I also underscored that the completion of the reform agenda and provision of debt relief by Greece’s European partners are essential to support sustainable ...

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Stronger oil prices help recovery in domestic demand in oil exporters: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Monday that stronger oil prices “are helping a recovery in domestic demand in oil exporters.” The IMF said growth in the Middle East would reach 3.6 percent in 2018 and 3.5 percent in 2019, up from an estimated 2.5 percent last year. For oil exporters, domestic demand would be lifted because of an “improving global growth outlook, weather events in the United States, the extension of the OPEC agreement to limit oil production, and geopolitical events in the Middle East.” The global economy, the ...

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IMF ups China 2018 economic growth forecast

The International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for China’s economic growth in 2018, amid an upbeat outlook for the global recovery. The IMF expects China’s GDP growth to stand at 6.6 percent this year, up from the 6.5-percent prediction made last October, according to the latest World Economic Outlook released on Jan 22. This is the fifth IMF raise of Chinese economic growth prospects in two years. Growth is expected to moderate gradually in China, the report said. Global growth forecast for 2018 is also revised upward by 0.2 percentage ...

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Global Optimism Bypasses U.K. Yet Again in Latest IMF Upgrades

A rising tide lifts most boats, according to the latest International Monetary Fund forecasts, which saw upgrades for almost every major economy except the U.K. In an update to its World Economic Outlook, the IMF lifted its global growth prediction to 3.9 percent for both this year and next. That would be the strongest expansion since 2011. Excluding the U.K., there were upward revisions for every Group of Seven nation, while projections for China were also raised. Spot the Difference The IMF upgraded almost every major economy bar the U.K. ...

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The Current Economic Sweet Spot Is Not the “New Normal”

As the year 2018 begins, the world economy is gathering speed. The new World Economic Outlook Update revises our forecast for the world economy’s growth in both 2018 and 2019 to 3.9 percent. For both years, that is 0.2 percentage points higher than last October’s forecast, and 0.2 percentage points higher than our current estimate of last year’s global growth. This is good news. But political leaders and policymakers must stay mindful that the present economic momentum reflects a confluence of factors that is unlikely to last for long. The ...

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Big trade surpluses help fuel protectionism, IMF boss tells Germany

The build-up of large current account surpluses in countries such as Germany is one of the reasons for the rise of protectionism elsewhere, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday. Germany has come in for criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration for its large trade surplus with the United States while scepticism is mounting towards free trade in some poorer euro zone countries. “A reduction of Germany’s surplus would help reduce global imbalances, which clearly we are concerned at the IMF,” IMF chief Christine Lagarde told ...

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China has become hub of global supply chains: IMF official

China, a key trading partner for over 100 countries, has become a hub of global supply chains, a senior official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said here. “The Chinese success story is deeply intertwined with the fortunes of the world economy,” IMF First Deputy Managing Director David Lipton said, adding that as a trading nation, China is a key partner for over 100 countries, which represent more than 80 percent of global GDP. “It’s the hub of global supply chains, a magnet for commodity exports, and an important source ...

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