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UK leading world recovery - Lagarde

Britain and the United States are leading global recovery, the head of the IMF has said.

In a major boost for David Cameron, Christine Lagarde praised the UK's "eloquent and convincing" lead in the European Union's battle for prosperity.

The IMF managing director was last year forced to admit that the global eonomic watchdog got it wrong after it had previously warned Britain was "playing with fire" by pushing ahead with austerity.

At the start of roundtable discussion in Washington that she co-hosted with the Prime Minister on the global economic outlook for 2015, Ms Lagarde said on global recovery: "The UK is leading in a very eloquent and convincing way in the European Union."

She said there were two countries that were leading the way on growth. "One is the USA, where growth is solid, anchored and where we foresee a 2015 that will be also a good year," she said.

"And the UK where clearly growth is improving, the deficit has been reduced, and where the unemployment is going down. Certainly from a global perspective this is exactly the sort of result that we would like to see.

"More growth, less unemployment, a growth that is more inclusive, that is better shared, and a growth that is also sustainable and more balanced."

Mr Cameron is discussing the global economy at a working dinner in the White House with US president Barack Obama.

The Prime Minister let slip recently that the president calls him Bro. Asked by the BBC about the nickname, he replied: "We have a very good relationship. It's normally Barack and David, I hasten to add. Well It's been said.

"The point is this, he became president six years ago, I became prime minister not quite five years ago. We've both faced very big challenges. We work very closely together, we get on very well, I think we see these issues in the same way and it's a very good partnership."

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