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IMF: Global economy "recovering better than we thought"

The top economist at the International Monetary Fund has let forth the economist's equivalent of a giggle:

"A global depression has been averted. The world economy is recovering and recovering better than we thought likely," said Olivery Blanchard.

The IMF released its latest World Economic Outlook today, its main economic forecast for 2010.

It predicts booming China will grow by 10 percent this year. The U.S. should come in at 3.1 percent while major European nations — the laggards due to Greece, Portugal, Ireland and other economic weaklings — are expected to grow by about 1 percent.

Overall, the global economy could expand by 4 percent this year, the IMF says.

Of course, plenty of risks remain — think rising government deficits, weak consumer demand and, um, Icelandic volcanoes. But what a difference a year makes.

For more, here's a nice insta-analysis from The Washington Post.