International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde has praised the coalition's management of the British economy as providing the right balance of spending cuts and taxes to deliver growth.
Ms Lagarde said the strategy pursued by the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats is "clearly delivering results" when compared with the state of other European economies.
The government demonstrated it was capable of adjusting to the economic reality and delivering spending cuts and revenue raising, in the order, proportion and pace that is right for the British economy, she said.
Recent GDP figures provided a boost to the coalition when they showed the economy grew by 2.8% over 2014, but Ms Lagarde's intervention comes during the General Election campaign, a time of heightened political sensitivity.
Her comments come days after the IMF contradicted the independent Office for Budget Responsibility, saying the country would still face a budget deficit of £7 billion in 2020, rather than the surplus predicted by the UK body and Chancellor George Osborne.
Speaking at the IMF spring meeting in Washington DC, Ms Lagarde said: "Smart fiscal policy - what I meant by that this morning is a set of policies that are actually targeted and tailored to the state of the economy.
"I have no doubt that can continue to be the case in the future.
"But added to that it's clearly also delivering results because when we look at the comparative growth rates delivered by various countries in Europe it's obvious that what is happening in the UK has actually worked."
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