WASHINGTON Nov 8 Global growth appears to be
stabilizing following recent efforts to tackle the debt crisis
engulfing the euro zone although economic activity remains
sluggish, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.
In a report prepared for the G20 finance ministers' meeting
in Mexico on Nov. 4-5 and published on Thursday, the IMF warned
that the euro zone crisis and the threat of a political impasse
in the United States over planned tax hikes and government
spending cuts posed the biggest risks to the world economy.
"U.S. authorities should act early to avoid the fiscal cliff
and raise the debt ceiling," the IMF said in the report. "A
last-minute deal that relies on suboptimal fixes or largely
'kicks the can down the road' may ultimately prove harmful," the
The IMF warned that the U.S. economy could fall back into
recession if Congress fails to avert a package of tax hikes and
spending cuts planned for the new year. Fears over the so-called
"fiscal cliff" appear to be hitting the economy already through
reduced business investment.
While some progress has been made in addressing the euro
zone crisis, the IMF urged Euroepan policymakers to carry
through on promises to tackle the bloc's fiscal problems.
It also said that euro zone countries facing market
pressures should implement fiscal adjustment plans and if needed
request financial support from European emergency funds.
Spain is currently considering whether to ask for aid from
the euro zone. However, promises of help from the EU and
European Central Bank have brought Spain's borrowing costs down
from unsustainable levels in the past few months.