IMF calls on the US to hike its minimum wage rate

The International Monetary Fund released its annual review of the U.S. economy on Monday and called on the U.S. to raise its federal minimum wage rate.

The IMF described the U.S. minimum wage as low by both historical and international standards, saying that an increase would raise incomes for millions of working poor Americans.

The IMF also lowered its U.S. gross domestic product growth forecast to 2 percent for this year. For 2015, it maintained a forecast of 3 percent.

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It estimated the U.S. will reach full employment by 2017, adding that inflationary pressures will remain muted and the Federal Reserve policy rate could remain at zero longer than mid-2015.

This marks the first time that the IMF has endorsed raising the U.S. minimum wage. It comes amid increased discussion on Capitol Hill about hiking it with calls from U.S. President Barack Obama and some Democrats for a jump to $10.10 per hour.

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Currently, the U.S. federal minimum wage stands at $7.25 per hour, but 22 states and the District of Columbia have higher minimum rates.

—By CNBC’s Katie Little

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