The International Monetary Fund said on Thursday it believed a recovery in the U.S. housing market is key to eventually boosting economic growth and reducing high levels of unemployment in the United States.
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The IMF's annual assessment of the U.S. economy released on Thursday forecast U.S. growth strengthening from current low levels of around 2.0% to about 3.4% by 2016 and 3.3% in 2017.
"We know that over the next few years the formation of U.S. households and depreciation of the housing stock will imply there will be a need for about 1.5 million homes to be built on a yearly basis," IMF economist Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti told a conference call with reporters. "That is clearly going to be something that will help U.S. growth over the medium term."