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IMF Lowers Its 2011 GDP Forecast For Japan, U.S.

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IMF GDP ESTIMATES 2011
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ROME (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund has cut its forecast for Japan's 2011 GDP growth after this month's devastating earthquake and has also lowered its near term outlook for the United States, Italian news agency ANSA reported on Wednesday.

The IMF cut Japan's 2011 growth forecast to 1.4 percent from a previous projection of 1.6 percent in January and cut its forecast for the United States to 2.8 percent from 3.0 percent, ANSA said, citing a draft of the IMF's World Economic Outlook report to be issued in April.

However, the Fund's forecasts for 2012 have been increased to 2.1 percent from 1.8 percent for Japan and to 3.0 percent from 2.8 percent for the United States, ANSA reported.

The IMF slightly raised its forecast for euro zone growth this year to 1.6 percent from 1.5 percent and increased the 2012 forecast to 1.8 percent from 1.7 percent, ANSA said.

The IMF made no change to its growth forecasts for China, seen at 9.6 percent in 2011 and 9.5 percent in 2012, and also left unchanged its global growth forecast for this year, seen at 4.4 percent, ANSA said.

Its report did not include the IMF's forecast for 2012 global growth.

The IMF trimmed its projection for Indian growth to 8.2 percent from 8.4 percent, and lowered its 2012 outlook to 7.8 percent from 8.0 percent.

Italian growth has been raised marginally to 1.1 percent from 1.0 percent for 2011 and left unchanged at 1.3 percent for 2012, significantly lagging the euro zone average in both years.

Italy has been one of the euro zone's most sluggish economies for over a decade.

(Writing by Gavin Jones; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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