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From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.
The world economy is not growing as fast as many experts had hoped. The International Monetary Fund recently announced it was changing its prediction for future economic activity. The IMF now says it expects the world economy to grow only a little over three percent in 2013. That is down from an earlier prediction of three-point three percent. The IMF blamed the slower growth, in part, on what it called “continuing growth disappointments” in developing countries and a deeper than expected recession in Europe. International demand for goods and services has decreased as people buy less. That is especially true in Europe. There, a debt crisis and government cost-cutting measures have produced the longest economic slowdown in the history of the 17-nation Eurozone. Reduced demand has also slowed growth in faster-growing economies, especially in the countries known as BRIC — Brazil, Russia, India and China.
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its expectations for economic growth in the United States. Yet recent reports on American housing and employment have suggested slow, but steady growth. This growth has been strong enough for America’s central bank to change policies that have kept long-term interest rates at record low levels. Olivier Blanchard is the chief economist at the IMF. He says rising American interest rates could create difficulties for some countries. But he believes it would also be evidence of a stronger recovery for the world’s largest economy. The IMF is predicting improvements in the world economy next year. But it says the improving conditions are possible only if major economies cut long-term debt and support policies that aid near-term growth.