By Daniel Hunter

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded that the US recovery has remained tepid, with GDP growing at a modest 2.2 percent in 2012, reflecting legacy effects from the financial crisis, budget deficit reduction, a weak external environment, and temporary effects of extreme weather-related events.

While policymakers in Congress averted the fiscal cliff at the beginning of 2013, the expiration of the payroll tax cut and implementation of across-the-board spending cuts ('sequester') are weighing significantly on growth this year, with growth in the first quarter of 2013 at 1.8 percent and indicators suggesting slower growth in the second quarter.

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