The International Monetary Fund says the global and Canadian economies are slowing, but there remains a chance that this year's numbers will come out better than expected.

The IMF says its optimism is based on decisions by policy-makers that have lowered the risks of an acute crisis in Europe as well as in the United States, which averted a so-called fiscal cliff disaster in the new year with a last-minute political compromise.

Although downside risks remain, the IMF says if crises do not materialize and financial conditions continue to improve, global growth could be stronger than projected.

As it stands, the IMF is predicting that Canada's economy will expand by a modest 1.8 per cent this year — two-tenths of a point weaker than it forecast three months ago.

Meanwhile, its forecast for Canada in 2014 is for growth of 2.3 per cent, a tenth of a point off its previous prediction.

For the global economy, the international financial organization says growth will hit 3.5 per cent this year, slightly lower than its October forecast but still stronger than last year's 3.2 per cent advance.