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IMF: Ebola having 'acute' financial impact on West Africa

The Ebola outbreak is likely to lead to "sharply" lower growth in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and all three of the poor West African countries may need support in future, a spokesman for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said today.

Relatives stand in line at a checkpoint outside the Ebola quarantine area of West Point in Monrovia, Liberia Credit: REUTERS/2Tango

The Ebola outbreak is having an acute macroeconomic and social impact on three already fragile countries in West Africa. We are actively working with all three countries to prepare a preliminary economic assessment of the impact of the Ebola crisis, and additional financing support that may be required.

– Gerry Rice, spokesman, IMF


Danny Alexander: IMF report 'extremely good news'

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury says today's IMF report on the British economy is "extremely good news" and a "strong endorsement" of the Government's strategy.

However, Danny Alexander acknowledged that ministers have to "keep a close eye" on the housing market to defuse any risks.

IMF: Low interest rates 'could risk financial stability'

The head of the IMF has suggested the Bank of England should increase interest rates, as keeping them at their low 0.5% rate could "increase risks to financial stability".

Christine Lagarde said the IMF view was that having low interest rates "could further fuel house prices" and therefore risk destabilising the economy.

She said it was up to the Bank of England to take action on rates "in a gradual fashion as the first line of defence against risks to financial stability arising from the housing market".

UK needs 'further measures' to increase housebuilding

The head of the IMF has called for the Government to put in place more measures to boost housebuilding.

Speaking at the Treasury this morning as the IMF gives its yearly assessment of the British economy, Christine Lagarde said:

The Government needs to do more to boost housebuilding, the IMF has said. Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

"Addressing imbalances in the housing market...will require further measures to increase the availability of land for development and to remove unnecessary constraints to land use.


Christine Lagarde: 'I'm not a candidate' for EU job

The head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, has dismissed suggestions that she is in line for a new role as President of the European Commission, the EU's executive body.

ITV News Economics Editor Richard Edgar is at a press conference with Ms Lagarde at the Treasury.

IMF: UK doing well but 'no room for complacency'

The head of the International Monetary Fund has welcomed the UK's economic progress over the last year but warned of major risks that remain.

Delivering the IMF's annual report on the state of the British economy, Christine Lagarde said that "the news coming out of the UK has been pretty much all good".

She pointed to the UK's growth rate being the highest of the advanced economies, along with signs that the economy is "rebalancing" towards a more investment-driven economy.

Christine Lagarde speaking at the Treasury on the state of the UK economy.

However, she also identified two major risks to Britain's prosperity - weak productivity and the the rapid rise of house prices.

"There is no room for complacency as there are risks looming on the horizon," Ms Lagarde said.

George Osborne: IMF will support our long-term plan

George Osborne says the International Monetary Fund will today show support for the Government's "long-term economic plan".

The Chancellor said he would "wait and see" what IMF chief Christine Lagarde would say about the British housing market when she speaks at the Treasury later.

But he argued he had created the right mechanisms to defuse the kid of risks in the housing market that have caused problems in the past.

US: IMF package needed to show Ukraine support

US Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew met Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk today:

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