A sharp downward revision to the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) U.S. growth forecast is a surprise but doesn't necessarily mean that interest rates in the world's number one economy will stay low for longer than anticipated, analysts say.
The IMF on Monday cut its U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast to 2 percent for 2014 from 2.8 percent, estimated that U.S. inflation will stay below the Federal Reserve's 2 percent target through 2017 and said the Fed should keep its key rate near zero longer than markets expect.
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Some analysts challenged that view saying signs of stronger-than-expected growth in the U.S. economy pointed to monetary tightening sooner rather than later.
"Clearly those IMF comments hit a little bit of a nerve but if you look at the incoming data flow, especially the numbers we got yesterday on production, home builder sentiment and the Empire State survey, they all paint a picture of an economy growing close to a 3 percent clip," Ray Attrill, co-head of currency strategy at National Australia Bank, told CNBC.
"This is above trend for the U.S. so I'm not sure these downgrades to the outlook are warranted," he added.