IMF revises growth down

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The Independent Online

The International Monetary Fund will this week downgrade its forecast for global growth in 2013 because of drastic US public spending cuts and renewed uncertainty over the eurozone's future.

In January, the IMF forecast global growth of 3.5 per cent. On Tuesday, when it releases its latest World Economic Outlook, it is expected to reduce that estimate by 0.1 per cent.

The US is set to be hit with the most hefty reduction down from 2 per cent to 1.7 per cent. This is thanks to the $85bn (£55.3bn) package of automatic spending cuts known as the sequester that took effect in March, when Republicans and Democrats failed to reach a budget deal.

The eurozone could also be in line for a downgrade from the 0.2 per cent contraction forecast in response to February's inconclusive Italian election. Political uncertainty in one of the eurozone's biggest debtor states has reinforced fears about the single currency.