The global economy faces “major downside risks” as its recovery continues to be threatened by stresses in the euro area, the International Monetary Fund said in a report prepared for the Group of 20 nations.
The world economic expansion will slow to 3.3 percent this year from 3.8 percent in 2011, according to the surveillance report prepared for the meeting of G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Mexico City Feb 25-26. The euro economy is forecast to contract 0.5 percent this year, compared with growth of 1.6 percent in 2011.
“The overarching risk remains an intensified global ‘paradox of thrift’ as households, firms, and governments around the world reduce demand,” the Washington-based IMF said in the report. “This risk is further exacerbated by fragile financial systems, high public deficits and debt and already-low interest rates.”
“Advanced economies are experiencing weak and bumpy growth, reflecting both the legacies from the crisis and spillovers from Europe,” according to the report.
European finance ministers are set to support a second rescue for Greece today to avoid what Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti has described as a potential “brutal outcome” for the Greek economy. The gathering in Brussels today, before a summit of leaders from the 27-nation European Union, will review Greece’s progress on meeting the conditions of the 130 billion- euro ($173 billion) aid package, which they approved last week.