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IMF Urges U.S. Debt Ceiling Increase to Avoid ‘Severe Shock’

The International Monetary Fund said today global markets will suffer if the U.S. Congress fails to approve an increase in the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and cautioned about the risk of a downgrade in the country’s credit rating.

“The federal debt ceiling should be raised expeditiously to avoid a severe shock to the economy and world financial markets,” the IMF said in a report on the U.S. economy. The report said a failure to reach a budget and debt compromise could result in a “sudden increase in interest rates and/or a sovereign downgrade.”