04/14/2015 10:43 EDT | Updated 06/14/2015 05:59 EDT

Canadian Economic Growth To Be 'Solid,' But Worse Than Before Oil Collapse: IMF

Pier Marco Tacca via Getty Images
MILAN, ITALY - DECEMBER 09: Christine Lagarde, managing director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) attends the Bocconi University's opening of the 2014/2015 academic year on December 9, 2014 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
The International Monetary Fund has lowered its outlook for Canadian economic growth.

It describes Canada's recent performance as "solid" but says the risk to its growth has been increased by an unusally large drop in oil prices, weaker business investment in the energy sector and lower employment growth

The latest projection from the Washington-based agency calls for the Canadian economy to grow 2.2 per cent in 2015, down from the January estimate of 2.3 per cent.

Canada is expected to outperform Japan and European Union countries, but lag behind the United States and the United Kingdom.

The IMF estimates in a report issued Tuesday that the American economy will grow 3.1 per cent this year and the U.K's real gross domestic product will grow by 2.7 per cent.

The IMF also predicts the 18 countries that use the euro will expand 1.5 per cent in 2015, up from a January forecast of 1.2 per cent. The fund forecasts that Japan will grow one per cent this year, versus an earlier forecast of 0.6 per cent.

The IMF estimates were released a day before the Bank of Canada issues its latest pronouncement on the central bank's key short-term interest rate, currently set at 0.75 per cent.

Finance ministers and central bank leaders from G20 countries will be in Washington later this week for meetings with the IMF and World Bank.

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