IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard: “Advanced economies are still confronted with high levels of public and private debt, which act as brakes on the recovery.”  Photograph: EPA/Alex Cruz

The International Monetary Fund has downgraded its outlook for global growth, blaming a “weak first quarter” in which the US economy contracted and “(...)

 International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde speaks at the National Press Club  in the US earlier this month. Photograph:  Stephen Jaffe/IMF via Getty Images

The International Monetary Fund raised its global growth forecasts for the first time in nearly two years today amid rising demand and inventories in (...)

US president Barack Obama waves goodbye at the end of his news conference at the White House Briefing Room in Washington yesterday.

US president Barack Obama turned up the political pressure on Republicans yesterday, saying he would be willing to negotiate on budget issues only aft(...)

Olivier Blanchard, chief economist of the IMF, speaks at a world economic outlook news conference yesterday. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

and The world faces years of sluggish growth unless leading economies undertake difficult economic reforms, the International Monetary Fund warned (...)

Turmoil in emerging markets this summer has forced the International Monetary Fund into a humbling series of U-turns over its global assessments. In a(...)

IMF chief economist Olivier Blanchard: “I think we’re going to move from negative growth this year to positive growth next year.” Photograph: AP Photo/Ibrahim Usta

The International Monetary Fund has slashed its growth forecasts for 2013 and 2014 as it warned of a slowdown in key emerging markets and a more protr(...)

Paris Plage, the artificial beach provided in central Paris in summertime. Photograph: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

When a bank holiday falls on Tuesday or Thursday, French employees take the Monday or Friday off as well. The practice is known as a (...)

Riga, Lavia

The idea that suffering is good for both the soul and the economy is widely held. To “austerians”, a financial crisis is a mark of moral turpit(...)

Britain’s chancellor George Osborne: the pressure has been mounting on him in the run-up to tomorrow’s GDP announcement, not least from the International Monetary Fund, which has joined the chorus of those questioning his rigid adherence to austerity. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Reuters

Has Britain slithered into its third recession since the start of the financial crisis? We’ll find out at last at 9.30am tomorrow when the Offi(...)