International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that advanced economies were in a "serious" and "deep recession," ahead of crisis talks with G7 finance ministers. "The world economy is close to recession. The advanced countries are in deep recession," he told foreign news agency. "We don't see any signal for the time being showing that 2009 could be better than we expect," he told reporters earlier, but declined to qualify the worldwide economic crisis as a depression.