IMF cuts forecast for US growth
The international body has cut its April forecast of 2.8% growth for 2014 down to 2%. It blamed a harsh winter, as well as a still-struggling housing market, for the weak first quarter figures which have already been seen. However, it expects growth to rise to 3% in 2015.
The IMF also urged the US Fed to keep interest rates lower for longer, despite growing expectations of a hike.
It said the country could tolerate a modest rise in inflation, adding this may also be in keeping with a balanced policy.
The IMF urged policymakers to encourage higher productivity and job-creation, which in turn may make a withdrawal of the stimulus easier: “This would be the best policy mix from an economic perspective but, regrettably, political agreement on such an approach remains elusive.”
Other issues identified by the organisation include the 15% poverty rate, the still-limited availability of mortgages and the complex taxation system.
It also called on the US to raise the minimum wage, which is low by international standards.