IMF reduces global, Canadian economic growth forecasts

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Many economic experts have warned that global economic uncertainty may negatively impact the Canadian economy and housing market this year. The International Monetary Fund recently projected global growth will reach 3.3 percent in 2012, down from its previous forecast of 4.0 percent.

The IMF said the reduction is the result of a mild recession due to the European debt crises, as it now expects the eurozone to contract by 0.5 percent this year. The IMF predicted Canada will expand 1.7 percent after originally forecasting 1.9 percent growth in September.

"Watch out for the links between commodity prices and Canada. That has been very important the past two years," said Charles St-Arnaud, an economist with Nomura Global Economics, according to the Calgary Herald.

The IMF has previously expressed significant concern regarding the Canadian housing market and the country's record-high consumer debt levels. In December, the IMF said the European debt crisis poses a major threat to Canada's economy, while saying the nation's home prices are on average 10 percent overvalued.

Despite global economic problems, many experts believe low mortgage rates will keep Canadian housing demand stable, as some banks recently dropped their five-year fixed rates to 2.99 percent.

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