11 Sep 2010

IMF warns of slowdown in economic growth

4:20 pm on 11 September 2010

The International Monetary Fund is warning growth in the global economy is likely to slow towards the end of this year.

The IMF blames weakness in the financial sector and the crisis of confidence in some national economies.

It is calling on the most developed countries to cut their budget deficits in order to tackle the problem.

The IMF briefing note also sets out potential risk factors that could make things worse, such as a deterioration of the US property market, the BBC reports.

This is where the global financial crisis began and the IMF warns that the supply of credit may begin to dry up if the number of home repossessions there continues to increase.

It also raises the possibility of more problems in the sovereign debt market, similar to the crisis of confidence that left Greece requiring a €100 billion loan earlier this year.

The IMF briefing note makes gloomy reading.

Among the recommendations made in it, is a call for governments to rebalance their economies, with emerging markets, including those in Asia, encouraged to focus less on exports and more in stimulating internal demand.

Conversely, the IMF suggests that advanced economies need to increase export sales while cutting their budget deficits.

US president Barack Obama has conceded that America's recovery from the deepest recession in decades has been painfully slow.

In his first formal press conference in more than three months, Mr Obama acknowledged that for all the economic progress that has been made, it is not not enough and people are frustrated and angry.

"The hole the recession left was huge and progress has been painfully slow. Millions of Americans are still looking for work," he said.

He said he understands that Americans are asking what he and the Democratic Party have done to improve the economy and he acknowledged voters in November's mid-term elections may blame him.