Robust global economy aspired

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Robust global economy aspired

The final communique from the two-day meeting of Group 20 finance ministers and central bankers in Sydney said they would take concrete action to increase investment and employment, among other reforms.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Mon 24 Feb 2014, 11:50 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:53 PM

Despite sketchy roadmap, G-20 aims over $2t output, tens of millions of jobs in next 5 years

The world’s top economies have embraced a goal of generating more than $2 trillion in additional output over five years while creating tens of million of new jobs, signalling optimism that the worst of crisis-era austerity was behind them.

The final communique from the two-day meeting of Group 20 finance ministers and central bankers in Sydney said they would take concrete action to increase investment and employment, among other reforms. The group accounts for around 85 per cent of the global economy.

“We will develop ambitious but realistic policies with the aim to lift our collective GDP by more than two per cent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming five years,” the G-20 statement said.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, who hosted the meeting, sold the plan as a new day for cooperation in the G-20.

“We are putting a number to it for the first time — putting a real number to what we are trying to achieve,” Hockey told a news conference.

“We want to add over $2 trillion more in economic activity and tens of millions of new jobs.”

The targeted acceleration would boost global output by more than the world’s eight largest economy Russia produces in a year.

The deal was also something of a feather in the cap of Hockey, who spearheaded the push for growth in the face of some scepticism, notably from Germany.

“What growth rates can be achieved is a result of a very complicated process,” Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said after the meeting.

“The results of this process cannot be guaranteed by politicians.”

Australia is acting as president of the G-20 this year, following Russia in 2013 and ahead of Turkey next year.

While shifting the focus to reforms that would lift and sustain global growth in years to come the group acknowledged that monetary policy would need to “remain accommodative in many advanced economies and should normalise in due course.”

The growth plan borrows wholesale from an IMF paper prepared for the Sydney meeting, which estimated that structural reforms would raise world economic output by about 0.5 per cent per year over the next five years, boosting global output by $2.25 trillion.

The IMF has forecast global growth of 3.75 per cent for this year and four per cent in 2015.

As yet there was no road map on how nations intend to get there or repercussions if they never arrive. The aim was to come up with the goal now, then have each country develop an action plan and a growth strategy for delivery at a November summit of G-20 leaders in Brisbane.

“Each country will bring its own plan for economic growth,” said Hockey. “Each country has to do the heavy lifting.”

Tapering to spur market volatility

sydney — The dialling back of Federal Reserve stimulus will cause further ructions in financial markets even as it marks an improvement in the global economy, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said.

“The tapering that we see is a result of the significant improvement of the global economy, but particularly the US economy, and that in and of itself is positive,” Lagarde said on Sunday in an interview following a meeting of Group-of-20 finance chiefs in Sydney.

“There will continue to be volatility on the markets as a result of this tapering.”

The US central bank’s decision to reduce its monthly bond-buying programme to $65 billion from $85 billion followed signs of improvement in the world’s largest economy. The move has helped to roil markets from Turkey to South Africa and Argentina, spurring investors to sell off emerging-economy currencies, stocks and bonds, and prompting emergency measures from governments and central banks.

Bloomberg


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