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WASHINGTON (Kyodo) The International Monetary Fund sharply revised its 2009 outlook for real economic growth in Japan to minus 5.8 percent from minus 2.6 percent estimated in late January.

In an update to its World Economic Outlook, the Washington-based lender Thursday also forecast economic growth of minus 0.2 percent for Japan in 2010, which would be its third consecutive annual contraction since 2008.

The IMF also revised downward its outlook for global economic growth in 2009 to minus 0.5 to 1.0 percent from plus 0.5 percent estimated on Jan. 28.

The IMF now expects minus 2.6 percent growth in the U.S., compared with minus 1.6 percent estimated in January, and minus 3.2 percent for the euro zone, compared with minus 2.0 percent. The IMF is forecasting positive growth in the U.S. and the euro zone in 2010.

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