IMF chief says UK might need to rethink austerity now

WASHINGTON Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:10pm BST

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde gestures as she arrives at a G-24 meeting during 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde gestures as she arrives at a G-24 meeting during 2013 Spring Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Washington, April 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the International Monetary Fund said on Friday it might now be time for Britain to consider relaxing its focus on austerity.

Christine Lagarde was asked in an interview with BBC television whether the British government should show more flexibility in its approach to fixing the country's economy.

"We are saying with this medium-term, strong anchoring of fiscal consolidation, the pace has to be adjusted depending on the circumstances and given the weak growth that we have observed lately ... now might be the time to consider," she said.

(Writing by William Schomberg)

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