IMF cuts US economic growth to 1.4%

<p>US economic growth is expected to be 1.4 per cent in 2014, according to new analysis from the IMF.</p>

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its forecast for US economic growth to a "disappointing" 1.4 per cent for 2014, in what is the second lowering of estimates this year.

While economic activity in the North American country "accelerated" in the second half of 2013, numerous factors led to a reduction in momentum at the start of 2014.

The IMF indicated that "an unusually harsh winter", a struggling housing market and modest external demand played a big part in denting the speed of economic recovery in the US.

However, while the below par performance is not ideal, the IMF said that things will pick up again in 2015, so long as there are no "unforeseen shocks".

It expects growth to speed up to its fastest pace since before the recession, thanks largely to robust consumption, better financial conditions for consumers and businesses, a decline in fiscal drag and a pickup in residential investment.

"Risks around this outlook include slowing growth in emerging markets, oil price spikes related to events in Ukraine and Iraq, and earlier-than-expected interest rate rises," the IMF stated in an official press release.

"However, as confidence in the recovery picks up, non-residential investment could grow more than expected and labour force participation could bounce back."

In the medium term, the IMF went on to say, prospective growth is anticipated to be just above two per cent, which is "significantly below" the historic average growth rate.

A reason for this reduction is to do with a general reserved outlook for productivity growth and the impact an ageing population is having across all areas of society.

The IMF said in light of this it is "critical" that the US does everything in its power to take "immediate" action to counter this and foster an environment that boosts productivity, promotes innovation, expands human and physical capital and increases labour force participation.

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