The global economy is expected to pick up a little more speed in 2006 and log another year of brisk growth according to data released by the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) World Economic Outlook.The world economy expanded by 4.8% in 2005 and is projected to grow by 4.9% in 2006. Last year's performance turned out better than the IMF had predicted, and the IMF's forecast for 2006 was upgraded. The previous IMF forecast, released in September, estimated that global economic growth would improve by 4.3% in 2005 and 2006. The IMF is predicting economic growth will increase by 3.4% this year and 3.3% next year in the United States. Those projections would mark a slight slowing from last year's 3.5% growth. If the IMF's global forecast for this year turns out correct, it would mark the best performance since 2004, when world economic growth bounded ahead by 5.3%, the best showing in three decades. Despite high oil prices, at this point, the economic outlook for 2007 is still good. The IMF is forecasting the global economy to grow by 4.7%. Many economists believe that a slowing housing market will be a main factor in the expected moderation of economic growth in the United States this year. Elsewhere in the World Economic Outlook, the IMF said China, which saw its economy grow by 9.9% in 2005, will probably see another hot year, of impressive growth this year. Next year, China's economy is expected to expand by 9%. Japan's economy, which grew by 2.7% in 2005, should expand by 2.8% this year. Growth, however, will moderate to 2.1% next year.