Lagarde hints at lowering in IMF economic growth forecasts

AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France (AFP) - International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde on Sunday signalled that her organisation would be lowering slightly its global economic growth forecasts, which are set to released in the next few days.

Ms Lagarde noted that the IMF, along with the World Bank, back in April said that the global economic recovery was advancing at mainly three different speeds, from an average of 5.5 per cent in emerging economies to 2 per cent in advanced countries like the United States and Australia, to the essentially deadlocked economies of the euro zone.

"We therefore had a (global) growth forecast which was about 3.3 per cent, but I am afraid when taking into account what we are currently seeing in the economies of the emerging countries in particular... I am afraid that we are perhaps a little bit below" the previous forecast, she said at an economic meeting held in the southern French city of Aix-en-Provence.

Earlier this month the World Bank slashed its growth forecast for emerging economic superpower China to 7.7 per cent from 8.4 per cent, warning of a potential "sharp" slowdown triggered by a fall in investment.

That contributed to its global economic growth estimate in 2013 being cut to an annual rate of 2.2 per cent from its January forecast of 2.4 per cent.

Ms Lagarde declined to give any figures, saying they would be released by the IMF's chief economist in the next few days.