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2009 would be an awful year: IMF Chief

world Updated: Apr 17, 2009 11:54 IST

Observing that the current economic crisis has hit every nook and corner of the world, the head of the International Monetary Fund on Thursday said 2009 is going to be an awful year for economies across the globe.

"2009 will almost certainly be an awful year... We expect global growth to enter deeply into a negative territory," IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told reporters in his address to the National Press Club in Washington.

The crisis, which originated in advanced economies and spread like wildfire across the world, Strauss-Kahn said, is now a truly global crisis and nobody is escaping.

"Emerging markets are being hit hard, facing the double punch of a sharp drop in export demand and a sudden stop in capital inflows, and this threatens to undo the impressive gains in growth and convergence achieved over the past decade or so," he said.

"Of possibly even greater concern, the crisis has also arrived on the shores of low-income countries, and threatens to cast millions back into poverty - the human consequences here could be absolutely devastating," the IMF boss observed.