IMF sees slightly stronger global growth for 2014

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday that the global economic recovery is strengthening as countries move away from austerity budgets and financial systems improve.

The Fund increased its estimate for world growth this year slightly to 3.7 per cent, after 3.0 per cent in 2013, while warning that the rebound of the world economy is still "weak and uneven." It was the first time in nearly two years that the Fund revised its growth forecasts upward: rougher conditions than expected have forced repeated downgrades of its predictions.

"The basic reason behind the stronger recovery is that the brakes to the recovery are progressively being loosened," said IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard, in the Fund's newest assessment of the global economy.

"The drag from fiscal consolidation is diminishing. The financial system is slowly healing. Uncertainty is decreasing," he said.

However, he added, there are significant differences between the United States, where growth looks "increasingly solid", and Europe, where growth remains weak and even weaker in the countries of the eurozone's southern rim.

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