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IMF says deeper-than-expected contraction in U.S. economy likely in second quarter

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A defacto lockdown in the United States has lasted longer than expected despite a rollback in some restrictions on mobility, pointing to a deeper-than-expected contraction in gross domestic product in the second quarter, the IMF said on Thursday.

Details will be available when the International Monetary Fund releases its updated World Economic Outlook on June 24, spokesman Gerry Rice told a regular briefing held online.

Given the continuing lockdowns, the pace of recovery in the world’s largest economy could be slower, he said, without giving an exact forecast.

Rice said the Chinese economy was gaining momentum, with high frequency data showing a stronger-than-expected recovery in investment and services through May. Overall, the balance of risks remained on the downside, he said.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and other top IMF officials have said the Fund is likely to revise downward its already pessimistic forecast for a 3% contraction in global gross domestic output in 2020.

The best-case scenario released by the Fund in April had called for the U.S. economy to contract 5.9% in 2020, with a rebound to 4.7% growth in 2021.

At the time, it forecast China would maintain positive growth of 1.2% in 2020, with growth expanding to 9.2% in 2021.


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