Tuesday, October 9, 2012

US fiscal cliff, eurozone crisis threaten global economy: IMF

The headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, the United States (file photo)

Source: Press TV

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that the global economy could get worse due to the eurozone crisis and the US fiscal cliff in the future.

The warning came in an IMF report on Tuesday, ahead of the meeting of finance officials from the world’s leading economies, which will be held in Tokyo later this week.

"A key issue is whether the global economy is just hitting another bout of turbulence in what was always expected to be a slow and bumpy recovery or whether the current slowdown has a more lasting component…The answer depends on whether European and U.S. policymakers deal proactively with their major short-term economic challenges," the report read.

"In the United States, it is imperative to avoid excessive fiscal consolidation (the fiscal cliff) in 2013, to raise the debt ceiling promptly, and to agree on a credible medium-term fiscal consolidation plan,” it added.

The report also shows that the IMF has cut its growth forecast for global output in 2012 to 3.3 percent, down from a July estimate of 3.5 percent, with Asia still leading the group of expanding regions while the countries in the euro area witness a contraction this year by 0.4 percent.

IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard has also criticized European leaders and the US policymakers for the way they have handled the crisis.

"Worries about the ability of European policymakers to control the euro crisis and worries about the failure to date of US policymakers to agree on a fiscal plan surely play an important role, but one that is hard to nail down," Blanchard said.

Experts say 90 percent of American families are facing unprecedented tax increases because the country is headed toward the edge of what's being described as a fiscal cliff.

Meanwhile, various eurozone member states have been struggling with deep economic woes since the bloc's financial crisis began roughly five years ago.

The worsening debt crisis has forced EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.

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