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Two recent economic reports warn that, although the world economy is growing, complicating issues like lower oil prices and conflict could hurt progress. The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, has reduced its prediction for world economic growth from 3.8 to 3.5 percent. That is still an improvement over 2014. But, the international lender says some major economies are facing economic struggles. The price of oil is about half of what it was last June. The IMF’s chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, says lower oil prices have helped many major economies, but investment has dropped in oil exporting countries. The United Nations also released a report called the “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2015.” UN economists predict growth this year will be 3.1 percent. They point out that crises like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and conflict in Ukraine could hurt a world economy showing signs of improvement. Many see cost-cutting as a barrier to growth. High debt levels have limited opportunities for expansion in Europe. Alfredo Calcagno is an economist with the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development. He says big cost cutting programs suppress economic recovery. Greece, he said, is one example. The report predicts Africa’s growth rate will increase this year and next. But in Africa south of the Sahara Desert, IMF economists say growth expectations have weakened especially in Nigeria and South Africa. The US also is expected to show good growth of over three percent this year. UN economists expect East Asia to remain the fastest growing area with economic expansion of almost five percent. China’s growth is expected to be under seven percent this year.