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IMF raises Japan, global growth forecast

Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) — The International Monetary Fund raised its 2017 global growth forecast on Tuesday due to manufacturing and trade gains in Europe, Japan and China, but warned that protectionist policies threaten to choke a broad-based recovery.

The IMF, whose spring meetings with the World Bank are underway in Washington this week, forecast that the global economy would grow 3.5 percent in 2017, up from its previous forecast of 3.4 percent in January.

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the Fund said that chronically weak advanced economies are expected to benefit from a cyclical recovery in global manufacturing and trade that started to gain momentum last summer.

“The economic upswing that we have expected for some time seems to be materializing,” IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld wrote in the report.

The IMF lifted Japan’s 2017 growth projection by 0.4 percentage points from January, to 1.2 percent, while the eurozone and China both saw a 0.1 percentage point growth forecast increase to 1.7 percent and 6.6 percent, respectively.

Meanwhile, the IMF held its 2017 U.S. growth forecast steady at 2.3 percent, which still represents a substantial jump from 1.6 percent growth in 2016.Speech

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