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IMF lowers world economic outlook amid geopolitical tensions

In a quarterly revision of its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund has lowered its projections for growth worldwide. The body said geopolitical conflicts were weighing heavily on economic prospects.

The IMF lowered its 2014 forecast for global economic growth to 3.4 percent, marking a 0.3 percent drop from its previous prediction in April.

In its latest quarterly outlook,

the Washington-based lender

specifically addressed what it viewed as destabilizing developments in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, which it said had contributed to a sharp drop in expectations for the whole region.

Russia alone would see its economy expand by only 0.2 percent this year, down from the 1.3 percent expected three months ago, the IMF maintained.

In the grip of sanctions

IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard spoke of "large capital outflows, and a near-freeze in investment decisions."

Watch video 01:25

Eurozone economies facing low growth

Prospects for the eurozone were little changed overall, with France's and Italy's growth prospects lowered, while Germany's and Spain's economies were likely to expand at a faster pace than previously envisaged.

Despite conflicts in many areas around the world, the IMF did not slash its global 2015 forecast standing at 4 percent growth.

It did confess, though, that heightened geopolitical concerns over Syria, Iraq and Gaza posed downside risks to the global economy through potentially higher oil prices and other factors.

hg/cjc (dpa, AFP)

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