Top global finance officials seeking to combat variety of threats weighing on growth

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Finance officials from the world's largest economies are being urged to prevent the global economy from falling into a "new mediocre," where growth remains stuck at subpar levels for years to come and millions of people remain trapped on unemployment rolls.

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In a global forecast prepared for meetings of the Group of 20 leading rich and developing nations, the International Monetary Fund downgraded its outlook this year. The fund says Europe is at risk of slipping back into recession, and persistent weakness is slowing Japan, China and Brazil.

Finance ministers and central bank presidents of the Group of 20 are wrapping up two days of talks Friday. The discussions are being held in advance of the annual meetings of the 188-nation International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.