IMF Sees Global Economy Strengthening

The International Monetary Fund says the global economic recovery is strengthening.

IMF Economic Counselor Olivier Blanchard said Tuesday the Washington-based agency is projecting that the world economy will advance 3.6 percent this year, up from 3 percent last year. He said it will increase again in 2015, moving ahead 3.9 percent.

Blanchard said that the recovery from the depths of the world downturn in 2008 is "not only stronger, but also broader." He said that government austerity measures aimed at cutting national debt levels are being eased and investors are "less worried" about the possibility of government defaults. Blanchard said the world's banks are "gradually becoming stronger."

Still, Blanchard said there are economic worries on the horizon, with potential growth in advanced economies "very low," while the advance in emerging economies is possibly weakening. He also said growing income inequality between society's haves and have-nots is becoming more of a problem.

Blanchard said the recovery across the world is uneven. He said it is strongest in the United States, the world's largest economy, where the IMF is projecting a 2.8 percent advance this year.

Blanchard said Germany, the top economy in the 18-nation bloc that uses the euro currency, will advance 1.7 percent. The IMF said that for the first time in two years, economies in the southern tier of eurozone countries will "have positive, if admittedly still low, growth."

He said emerging and developing countries will continue to have strong growth -- 4.9 percent, up slightly from 2013. The IMF predicted 7.5 percent growth in China, the world's second biggest economy. The IMF sees a 5.4 percent advance in India, as well as in sub-Saharan Africa.

The IMF said geopolitical risks have increased, but not yet had a global economic impact.

VOA News / Apr. 09, 2014 07:44 KST