Publicly, finance ministers and central bank governors have held off on raising fears that a global recession is coming — but in private, international and national officials are not nearly so certain.

The communiqué issued at the end of the IMF and the World Bank's annual meetings in Washington this week agreed that the global economy is not slipping into recession. But as policymakers and economists gathered in the bustling corridors of the buildings surrounding 19th Street in Washington, the worry was that the forecast of an improving global outlook next year could, at any moment, be punctured by a

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