IMF's Lagarde says U.S. debt ceiling fight could be "catastrophic"

WASHINGTON Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:08pm EST

1 of 2. International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde holds a news conference to discuss the IMF's views on economic policy priorities in the year ahead in Washington January 17, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Cameron

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the International Monetary Fund on Thursday warned that the fight over raising the U.S. government's debt ceiling could be "catastrophic" for the global economy if not resolved in time.

"If it is not resolved appropriately by it being raised on time ... it could be catastrophic for the global economy," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told Reuters Insider television.

"I very, very strongly hope that all parties, all views will converge in the national interest of the U.S. economy and in the international interest of the global economy. To imagine that the U.S. economy would be in default, would not honor the payments that it owes is just unthinkable."

(Reporting by Timothy Ahmann; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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