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BRIAN WATT: Twice a year, the International Monetary Fund weighs in on the world's economic growth. This go round, the news is pretty good. An expansion of 5.1 percent expected this year and 4.9 percent next year. If all goes well, the world could chalk up its strongest four years since the early '70s. The IMF report does mention a slowing U.S. economy and inflation among the risks, but Europe's economy is still going strong, Japan's is in recovery, and the real action is in the rest of Asia. Jocelyn Ford reports from Beijing.

JOCELYN FORD: This year economies in Asia are expected to grow at a much faster clip than earlier predicted.

In the spring, the IMF said Asian economies would grow 7.9 percent this year. Now, it's expecting 8.3 percent, slipping to 8.2 percent next year.

That's thanks to a strong showing by China and India.

Economist Bill Belchere of Macquarie Securities says the risk of a slowing U.S. economy no longer poses as serious a threat to Asian exporters as it used to.

BILL BELCHERE:"The rest of the world is becoming richer. The middle classes are building out, so there's more final demand globally. And this is a process that will make the U.S. not so central to growth."

China's playing an increasingly important role. In the past 15 years it's gone from less than a percent of global GDP to about 5 percent.

In Beijing, I'm Jocelyn Ford for Marketplace.