The International Monetary Fund expects the euro zone economy to contract by 0.5 percent this year and warns that tensions arising from the bloc's debt crisis threaten global growth, Italian news agency ANSA reported on Thursday quoting a draft of the World Economic Outlook (WEO).

The figure is 1.6 percentage points lower compared with the IMF's September forecast, ANSA said.

The IMF is due to publish next week its latest WEO report.

ANSA said the IMF saw a growth of just 0.3 percent in Germany this year, accelerating to 1.5 percent next year.

Similarly, France was expected to grow by 0.2 percent this year and 1 percent the next.

Both Italy and Spain, according to the draft document, would record two years of negative growth. The Italian economy was expected to shrink by 2.2 percent this year, the Spanish by 1.7 percent.

The GDP contraction should slow to 0.6 percent next year in Italy and to 0.3 percent in Spain, ANSA said.