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IMF cuts economic forecasts for U.S.

By Annalyn Censky, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The global recovery is moving at two speeds, with emerging countries like China still expanding rapidly as advanced economies like the United States grow at a snail's pace.

"The pace of activity remains geographically uneven, with employment lagging," the International Monetary Fund said in the first two chapters of its World Economic Outlook, released Monday.

Overall, the IMF kept its forecast for worldwide economic growth unchanged at 4.8%, but lowered its estimates slightly for many of the world's largest developed countries.

Citing weak real estate markets and high unemployment, the IMF cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth to 2.8% this year, down from the 3% rate it predicted just three months ago. The IMF also lowered forecasts for the United Kingdom and Japan.

When lumped together, advanced economies are expected to grow at a 2.4% rate in 2011, and 2.6% in 2012. Meanwhile, emerging markets are predicted to grow 6.5% both this year and next.

The so-called BRIC countries -- Brazil, Russia, India and China -- remain the leaders of emerging markets, far outpacing growth in the developed world.

China's forecast stays at a breakneck speed of 9.6%, while India's was lowered slightly to a still-rapid 8.2%.

Russia's growth forecast was boosted to 4.8% and Brazil's remained unchanged at 4.5%. To top of page

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