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Global Recovery Might Be Earlier: IMF Head

World economic recovery might come a quarter ahead of current expectations, the head of the International Monetary Fund told an Italian newspaper, adding forecasts for this country's economy will be revised upwards.

"For the (global) economy, we have been saying for a year that the recovery will come in the first half of 2010. It might even be a quarter ahead and that would be a good thing," IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper.

"We are seeing the end of the tunnel, but we are still in crisis," he added in the interview published on Tuesday.

The IMF is due to publish its latest forecasts this week and according to a document obtained by Reuters on Friday, it has revised up its forecast for economic growth this year and next in major industrialized economies and worldwide.

Strauss-Kahn did not specify in the interview with Il Sole 24 Ore whether he meant the fourth quarter of 2009 or the first quarter of 2010. He said the next World Economic Outlook (WEO) would have revised figures for Italy's economy showing a better picture than previously.

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"In the next WEO the forecasts for Italy will be revised upward, thanks to the rise in external demand," Strauss-Kahn said in the interview.

The document obtained by Reuters revised gross domestic product (GDP) figures for the global economy to a 1.3 percent contraction in 2009 from a 1.4 percent decline previously and for 2.9 percent growth next year from 2.5 percent expansion previously.

Other revisions highlighted were for the United States, the euro zone, Japan, Germany and the UK.

Strauss-Kahn did not specify in the interview whether the Italian forecast revisions would be for 2009 or 2010 or both years.

In July, the IMF said it expected Italy's economy to contract by 5.1 percent in 2009 and by 0.1 percent in 2010.