U.S. Shutdown Spreads to Oil-Rich Middle East

The International Monetary Fund said the U.S. economy remains at the front and center of the global economic conversation. Now in week two of a partial federal shutdown, the IMF warned, however, that an obstinate political climate was creating uncertainty about the strength of the recovery in the U.S. economy. Oil prices continued to trend lower amid ongoing concerns Washington wouldn’t be able to get its fiscal house order before defaulting on its debt obligations. Apart from the impact of rising U.S. oil production, the IMF warned lower oil prices could leave many oil producers in the Middle East and North Africa in economic trouble.

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IMF chief says financial crisis has eased

WASHINGTON –The head of the International Monetary Fund said Thursday that the global financial crisis has eased substantially but countries must do more to promote growth and alleviate rampant unemployment.

“We believe we have avoided the worst, and the economic world no longer looks quite as dangerous as it is did,” IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said at the the spring meeting of the IMF and the World Bank here.

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