The global economic recovery is weakening as government policies have failed to restore confidence, the International Monetary Fund has said.
It added that the risk of further deterioration in the economic outlook was â€œconsiderableâ€ and had increased.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) downgraded its estimate for global growth in 2013 to 3.6 percent from the 3.9 percent it forecast in July.
One of the biggest downgrades was to the UK economy, which the IMF expects to shrink by 0.4 percent this year.
This compares its forecast of 0.2 percent growth in July. Next year, the UK economy should grow by 1.1 percent, the IMF said, down from its previous forecast of 1.4 percent.
In response to the downgrade, the UK Treasury highlighted the fact that the IMF had â€œrepeated its advice that the first line of defence against [slowing growth] should be to allow the automatic stabilisers to operate, monetary policy easing and measures to ease the flow of credit – all of which the UK is doingâ€.
The fundâ€™s forecast for global growth this year has been lowered to 3.3 percent from 3.5 percent.
Overall, â€œ[economic] output is expected to remain sluggish in advanced economies but still relatively solid in many emerging markets and developing economies,â€ the IMF said.
It said much would depend on action taken by policymakers in Europe and the US.
It highlighted the importance of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the eurozoneâ€™s new permanent fund to bail out struggling economies and banks launched earlier on Monday. The fund added that greater integration of taxation and spending policies across the eurozone was needed, as well as measures to begin the process of banking union.
â€œThe ESM must intervene in banking systems and provide support to sovereigns, while national leaders must work toward true economic and monetary union,â€ the IMF said.
The ESM, hailed on Monday by Jean-Claude Juncker, Prime Minister of Luxembourg and chair of the fund, as â€œan historic milestone in shaping the future of monetary unionâ€, will have a lending capacity of 500 billion euros by 2014.
The ESM will be able to lend directly to governments, but it will also be able to buy their sovereign debts, which could help reduce the borrowing costs of highly-indebted countries such as Italy and Spain.
In the US, growth depended on a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, when automatic spending cuts and tax increases will kick in at the beginning of next year, the IMF said.
If policymakers fail to agree to delay these measures and increase Americaâ€™s debt ceiling, â€œthe US economy could fall back into recessionâ€, with serious knock-on effects for the rest of the world, it added.
Assuming agreement is reached, the US economy will grow by 2.1 percent next year, the IMF said, down from its forecast of 2.3 percent made in July. This year, the economy will actually grow by more than previously forecast – by 2.2 percent rather than 2 percent.
The IMF also said actions taken by governments already had not gone far enough.
Measures to relieve â€œchronic household debt burdensâ€ did not address the scale of the problem, it said, while â€œefforts to strengthen the regulatory framework for financial institutions and markets have been patchyâ€.
While there had been some success in rebuilding capital bases of banks, not enough had been done to address â€œexcessive risk takingâ€ in financial markets.
The fund also called for further action to address long-term unemployment. â€œIn advanced economies, growth is now too low to make a substantial dent in unemployment,â€ it said.
Figures released on Friday showed that the unemployment rate in the US fell to 7.8 percent, the lowest rate since January 2009 but still much higher than for most of the past 20 years.
Last week, figures showed unemployment in the eurozone stable at a record high of 11.4 percent. Spain and Greece, where about one in four of the workforce are out of a job, have the highest rate.
Despite relatively strong growth compared with advanced economies, the IMF also downgraded growth prospects for emerging nations.
In Asia, â€œthe near and medium-term outlooks are less buoyant compared with the regionâ€™s growth performance in recent yearsâ€, the fund said. It highlighted weaker exports as a result of lower demand for goods in the West.
China, the worldâ€™s second-largest economy, would grow by 7.8 percent this year, down from its previous forecast of 8 percent, and by 8.2 percent next year, down from 8.5 percent. It also revised dramatically its growth forecasts for India, which would grow by 4.9 percent this year and 6.1 percent next, the IMF said.â€”BBC