IMF growth warning on inflation and oil prices

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IMF growth warning on inflation and oil prices

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The latest International Monetary Fund report on the health of the world economy includes a lower forecast for growth in the US and a big downgrade for Japan after the earthquake and tsunami there.

It continues to predict a slow-paced global economic recovery but warned oil prices and inflation pose risks.

After global growth last year of five percent the IMF forecasts 4.4 percent this year accelerating slightly next year to 4.5 percent.

The US and euro zone will show little change. Growth of 2.8 percent in the states in 2010 and 2011. The euro zone saw 1.7 percent economic expansion last year which will slip to 1.6 percent this year.

Earthquake hit Japan will see growth slow to 1.4 percent this year from 3.9 percent last year.

The IMF stressed that risks to its forecast abounded, including a spike in oil and commodity prices, as well as inflation, Mideast and North African political unrest, and debt problems in Europe but its economists said they are not yet enough of a problem to derail the recovery.

It said the US economy is recovering at such a sluggish pace that the Federal Reserve needs to keep an easy monetary policy in place while the government comes to grip with its debts.

The Fund said inflation pressures were likely to build in developing countries as people pushed for higher wages in the face of pricier food and fuel.

The fastest growth was still coming from emerging economies, it said. China was expected to lead the way with growth of 9.6 percent this year