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Lagarde Hints at Cut in IMF Growth Forecasts

IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Sunday signalled Sunday that her organisation would be lowering slightly its global economic growth forecasts, which are set to released in the next few days.

Lagarde noted that the International Monetary Fund, along with the World Bank, back in April said that the global economic recovery was advancing at mainly three different speeds, from an average 5.5 percent in emerging economies to 2.0 percent in advanced countries like the United States and Australia, to the essentially deadlocked economies of the eurozone.

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Greece Sees Monday Deal on EU-IMF Rescue Funds

Greece and its international creditors hope to reach a deal by Monday on reforms including thousands of job cuts needed for the debt-laden nation to unlock further aid worth 8.1 billion euros ($10.4 billion).

"We have made substantial progress," Poul Thomsen, the International Monetary Fund's representative, told reporters in Athens on Sunday.

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Temporary Jobs Becoming a Permanent Fixture in U.S.

Hiring is exploding in the one corner of the U.S. economy where few want to be hired: Temporary work.

From Wal-Mart to General Motors to PepsiCo, companies are increasingly turning to temps and to a much larger universe of freelancers, contract workers and consultants. Combined, these workers number nearly 17 million people who have only tenuous ties to the companies that pay them — about 12 percent of everyone with a job.

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Virgin Completes Purchase of 60% of Tigerair Australia

Virgin on Monday completed the purchase of a 60 percent stake in low-cost rival Tigerair Australia and named its chief executive John Borghetti as chairman of the new business.

Australia's competition regulator agreed to the tie-up earlier this year and Virgin, the country's second-largest carrier after Qantas, said all the formalities were now complete.

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Iran Devalues Official Rial Rate by More than Half

Iran's central bank on Saturday drastically devalued the national currency's fixed subsidized rate against the dollar, as the Islamic republic struggles to shore up its faltering economy.

The rial has lost more than two thirds of its value on the open market since early 2012, when the United States and the European Union imposed harsh economic sanctions curbing Iran's ability to export oil and conduct financial transactions.

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S&P Further Downgrades Nokia after NSN Purchase

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's on Friday downgraded Nokia Corp.'s credit rating, citing the deal this week to buy out Siemens from its Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture for 1.7 billion euros ($2.21 billion).

The agency lowered the Finland-based company's long-term corporate credit rating to B+ from BB-, warning that its strong balance sheet will weaken as a result of the acquisition.

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U.S. Jobs Growth Surges

The United States added a robust 195,000 jobs in June, and job growth in prior months was revised higher, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The June employment gain was well above the analyst consensus estimate of 166,000 jobs, and marked a steady pickup in job creation in the economy.

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Italians Cut Back on Dolce Vita as Crisis Bites

Italy's household consumption fell sharply last year, with style-conscious Italians cutting back on clothes and home furnishings, official data showed on Friday.

Average monthly spending per household fell to 2,419 euros ($3,105) -- 2.8 percent less than in 2011.

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Brazil's 12-Month Inflation Reaches 6.7 Percent

Inflation in Brazil slowed to 0.2 percent in June compared to the month before, but, at 6.7 percent over 12 months, was still well above the government's target of 4.5 percent, according to the latest official figures Friday.

The June figure was the lowest since the same month the year before, when consumer prices rose 0.08 percent, the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute (IBGE) reported.

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World Bank Chief Hopes to Maintain Egypt Aid Program

World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim said Thursday he hopes Egypt's loan and assistance program will continue despite the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, but called for progress toward new elections "as quickly as possible."

"We are in the middle right now of trying to understand just what did happen and what the legal status is of the government in place," Kim said at a press conference at Chile's government palace, after he met with President Sebastian Pinera.

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