IMF Cuts US Growth Outlook For 2014 to 2.7 Percent, Blames Sequester

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    U.S. manufacturing
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    International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde
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The International Monetary Fund, or IMF, cut its U.S. growth forecast for 2014 to 2.7 percent, down from the 3 percent estimate published in April.

Pointing to the sweeping federal budget cuts enacted in March’s sequestration, the IMF said the rush to cut the government’s budget deficit slowed economic growth to 1.9 percent. It estimated that growth would be as much as 1.75 percent higher if not for the fiscal tightening, Reuters reported Friday.

"The deficit reduction in 2013 has been excessively rapid and ill-designed," the IMF said. "These cuts should be replaced with a back-loaded mix of entitlement savings and new revenues, along the lines of the [U.S.] administration's budget proposal."

The IMF said that government debt, while on an unsustainable path, was already set to peak at 110 percent of gross domestic product, then begin to decline by 2015. The fund urged the U.S. Federal Reserve to continue stimulating the economy by buying Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, at least until the end of the year.

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