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IMF chief economist retires

WASHINGTON, May 15 — The chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced his retirement on Thursday, leaving for a Washington-based nonprofit think tank to further his research career.

Olivier Blanchard, who assumed the post of economic counselor and director of the Research Department at the IMF in 2008, has helped the Fund navigate through the choppy waters of the financial crisis, and further enhanced the reputation of the Fund by leading his department to work on its flagship publication, the World Economic Outlook, the IMF said in a statement.

"As one of the world's leading macroeconomists, Olivier has been on the forefront of the Fund's response to the global financial crisis, spurring a fundamental rethinking of macroeconomic policy that is still reverberating in academic and policy circles," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in the statement.

A citizen of France, Blanchard has spent most his professional life in the United States. Before joining the IMF, he taught at Harvard University and became chairman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Economics Department in 1998.

After his departure, he will take up a position as a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

The IMF said the search process to identify a successor to Blanchard will begin right away. (PNA/Xinhua)

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