The International Monetary Fund urged the United States on Friday to repeal sweeping government spending cuts and recommended that the Federal Reserve continue a bond-buying program through at least the end of the year.
In its annual check of the health of the U.S. economy, the IMF forecast economic growth would be a sluggish 1.9 percent this year. The IMF estimates growth would be as much as 1.75 percentage points higher if not for a rush to cut the government’s budget deficit.
The IMF cut its outlook for economic growth in 2014 to 2.7 percent, below its 3 percent forecast published in April. The Fund said in April it still assumed the deep government spending cuts would be repealed, but it had now dropped that assumption.
Washington slashed the federal budget in March, adding to the drag on the economy created by tax increases enacted in January.
Blaming sequestration for the sluggishness of this muck-bound economy is like weighing 400 pounds and saying that it was the last Oreo you ate that did it to you.