Dire financial forecasts suggest going abroad will not protect your company from the economic crisis

The International Monetary Fund has slashed its prediction for GDP growth in 2009 to 0.5%. This is down from growth of 2.2%, which it predicted in November. The IMF will release new official economic forecasts before the end of this week, but the predictions appear to have been leaked to news agency Reuters.

The US economy is forecast to shrink 1.6% in 2009, although it is expected to grow 1.6%in 2010. The eurozone forecast has been cut to a 2% contraction, with 2010 growth now expected to be 0.2%.

Meanwhile, the UN has said that up to 51 million jobs could be lost worldwide during 2009. The figure, from the International Labour Organisation, a UN agency, would mean global unemployment of 7.1%.

The news will worry British construction firms hoping to counter flagging UK workloads with international business.