IMF looks to lower US growth expectations on sequestration

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"The sequestration's a very complex issue. It doesn't happen immediately," said Murray. "A lot of it depends on how aggressively or how fully sequestration is implemented, but there will be an impact on global growth.

"It's a political process that's playing out in the United States. We have to see how that political process will play out before we can be too definitive," he added.

The IMF has become the latest economic voice to air concerns about the automatic cuts set to take effect beginning Friday. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told lawmakers Tuesday and Wednesday that the automatic cuts would do significant damage to an already slow-growing economy, and would do little to actually address the long-term challenges facing the nation's finances. He called on Congress to replace the blunt cuts with more gradual deficit reduction.

While the U.S. economy will slow if sequestration is allowed to fully occur, Murray also warned that sequestration could have a global impact as well. In particular, nations with active trade relations with the U.S., like those in Europe, would feel a pinch as U.S. economic growth slowed.


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