IMF sees low potential economic growth around world
* Potential growth in rich economies to edge up to 1.6 pct
* Growth potential in emerging markets to fall further
* Zero lower bound to remain issue for monetary policy
By Anna Yukhananov
WASHINGTON, April 7 (Reuters) - The world's growth potential took a big hit after the 2007-2009 financial crisis and is likely to lag for years, implying that interest rates should likely stay low for quite a while, the International Monetary Fund said in a study on Tuesday.
Potential growth, which gauges how fast economies can grow over time without hitting inflationary speed bumps, already was slowing in richer economies before the financial crisis due to aging populations and a drop in technological innovation.
But declines in private investment and employment growth cut annual potential growth in these countries to 1.3 percent between 2008 and 2014, half a percentage point lower than before the crisis, according to the IMF study.
The study, part of the Fund's twice-yearly World Economic Outlook, could frame the discussions over how to boost growth when the world's economic policymakers gather in Washington next week for the IMF and World Bank's spring meetings.
Over the next five years, advanced economies' annual growth potential should increase to 1.6 percent, still below pre-crisis growth rates, making it more difficult to cut high public and private debt, the IMF said. Continuación...