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IMF to raise world growth forecast

THE INTERNATIONAL Monetary Fund is likely to raise its forecast for world growth in 1999, according to its deputy director of research. Fleming Larsen, speaking in a personal capacity, said: "It is apparent that our global growth forecast for 1999, which was estimated at 2.3 per cent as recently as ... the end of April, may be too pessimistic. I expect our next projections to show a somewhat higher growth rate."

Mr Larsen said the economies affected by the Asian crisis had turned around, and the crisis could have improved their long-term prospects by forcing economic reforms. But he added that there were significant risks from global imbalances, and in particular over-dependence on the US.