The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday lowered its outlook for U.S. economic growth by a half percentage point this year, to 3.1%, and cut its 2016 estimate by two-tenths, also to 3.1%. The IMF downgrade still makes it more optimistic on growth than the Federal Reserve, which is forecasting 2.5% growth this year. But the IMF kept its global growth forecast for this year at 3.5% and nudged up its 2016 estimate by a tenth of a percentage point to 3.6%, as the IMF raised its 2015 growth estimate for the euro area, Japan, the United Kingdom and India. "A number of complex forces are shaping the prospects around the world," said Olivier Blanchard, IMF Economic Counselor, in a statement. "Legacies of both the financial and the euro area crises -- weak banks and high levels of public, corporate, and household debt -- are still weighing on spending and growth in some countries. Low growth in turn makes deleveraging a slow process."
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