Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today at the conclusion of the Group of 20 (G20) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting in Shanghai, China:
“This G20 met at a moment when uncertainty and increasing downside pressures could put at risk the global economic recovery. In response, G20 members expressed a strong sense of urgency to implement the policy actions needed to contain risks and strengthen growth.
“We recognized the many challenges facing the global economy at present: volatile markets and capital flows; economic transition and tightening financial conditions in many countries; the large drop in commodity prices, including oil; and escalated geopolitical tensions, including the large number of refugees in some regions.
“Against this backdrop, I welcome the G20’s agreement to do more to achieve our common objectives for global growth. That means using all available policy tools:
• First, a broad-based response at the national level. In advanced economies, this requires a mix of mutually reinforcing demand and supply policies, including continued accommodative monetary policy and supportive fiscal policies–making the best possible use of fiscal space (for example, through infrastructure spending). In emerging economies, it requires reducing vulnerabilities and rebuilding resilience–strengthening fiscal buffers and diversifying growth models in commodity-exporting countries, for example.
• Second, bold multilateral actions. This requires following through on past G20 commitments and, in particular, renewed momentum this year to deliver on the goal of achieving 2 percent additional growth by 2018. Reinvigorated structural reforms are a critical element of the necessary policy package, and I welcome the G20’s commitment to enhance this agenda by formulating a set of principles to guide prioritization. The IMF is pleased to support this effort.
“The G20 also emphasized the importance of an adequate and effective global financial safety net. The IMF has been tasked with analyzing this issue further and we will report back at the next G20 meeting in April.
“In summary, at this meeting, the G20 recognized that while the global recovery continues, it remains too weak and uneven–and falls short of our collective ambition for strong, sustainable and balanced growth. To confront this challenge, we need action now.
“Finally, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Chinese authorities for their always generous hospitality–especially to People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan and Finance Minister Lou Jiwei. I look forward to continue working closely with them throughout this year of China’s leadership of the G20.”
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