WASHINGTON: The IMF and World Bank focused Thursday on Britain’s possible EU pullout and widespread tax evasion as key threats to the global economy as they opened their Spring Meetings.

Laying out a broad spectrum of risks, from refugee crises and rising protectionism to climate change, the leaders of the two powerful global development banks called for the most developed countries especially to take “immediate” action to stimulate growth to avoid backsliding into a worldwide stall.

“In the global economy, there are not many bright spots,” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. “The weakening global economy threatens our progress toward ending extreme poverty by 2030.”

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde refused to call the downturn a “crisis”, but stressed the urgency of a response all the same.

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