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The International Monetary Fund on Thursday projected its budget deficit would rise to 242 million dollars in the 2009 fiscal year, after a loss that was not as bad as expected in the past year.

The fiscal year ended this past April closed with a deficit of 89 million dollars, after a series of reorganizational moves that averted a projected deficit of 234 million.

"This improvement stemmed primarily from the strong performance of the Fund's investment portfolio comprising primarily fixed-income securities, the one-time income effects associated with the settlement of overdue charges following Liberia's arrears clearance, and lower expenditures," the IMF said in a statement.

The IMF has eliminated several hundred jobs with 591 opting for voluntary separation program and is also in the process of taking other measures, including the sale of a portion of its gold reserves. But the latest budget projections do not include any income from gold sales.

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