World Economy

G-20 Confronting Global Weakness

G-20 Confronting Global WeaknessG-20 Confronting Global Weakness

The current head of the Group of 20 wealthy and emerging nations says governments need to do more to jolt the global economy out of the rut it fell into after the 2008 financial crisis.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, who is responsible for his country’s economy, said Thursday the worst may be over but recent economic developments are not yet satisfactory. AP reported.

Speaking ahead of the G-20 meeting in Washington Friday, he said there are bright spots in some countries but growth is weak, imbalanced and uneven.

He said G-20 countries must do more to carry out commitments made last year in Australia to jumpstart growth including investing in infrastructure and boosting trade.

Babacan also said the G-20 needs to involve low income developing countries more in its deliberations.

Finance officials from the world’s major economies are searching for the right mix of policies to bolster a still-weak global recovery nearly six years after the Great Recession while confronting a range of new threats from a soaring US dollar to a big drop in oil prices.

The financial officials from the Group of 20 nations were also expressing concerns about potential market instability once the Federal Reserve starts increasing a key interest rate which has been at a record low near zero since late 2008.

The discussions were being held among finance ministers and central bank presidents of the G-20, composed of traditional economic powers such as the United States, Japan and Germany and emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil.

The G-20 talks were coming in advance of the spring meetings of the 188-nation International Monetary Fund and its sister lending organization, the World Bank.

In addition to concerns about boosting global growth, the finance meetings were also addressing issues including a plea for more help in fighting the Ebola outbreak in the West African nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. The presidents of those three nations were scheduled to meet Friday with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told reporters Thursday: “The good news is that the global recovery continues. The not-so-good news is that growth remains moderate and uneven.”

She said the goal of this week’s talks was to produce a revamped action plan that will “prevent this new mediocre from becoming the new reality.”

The IMF’s latest economic forecast predicted only modest overall growth and downgraded the prospects for some nations including the United States, forecasting US growth of just 3.1 percent this year, a half-point lower than its January estimate. The reason: IMF economists believe the sharp rise in the value of the dollar will hurt American companies trying to export goods overseas.

In addition to discussions on global growth, the finance officials will be seeking to keep an IMF-supported bailout for Greece on track.