#Article (Archive)

Economywatch: Growth expectations for 2012 remain moderate, says World Finance Ministers, Governors

Apr 25, 2012, 2:56 PM | Article By: Osman kargbo

Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors are currently in Washington DC discussing very pertinent issues regarding the world economy and its financial landscape, as well as trade, investment, employment creation, price stability and many other macroeconomic and fiscal issues that are crucial to the survival of mankind. Here, following, we feature an abstract of the final communiqué from the meeting of our public trustees in the economic and financial sector of our world.

Final Communiqué of Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Washington DC April 2012

We, the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, met to assess progress on the fulfillment of the mandates given to us by our Leaders and to address ongoing economic and financial challenges and promote robust growth and job creation.

Recent economic developments point to the continuation of a modest global recovery, supported by some significant policy actions that have taken place since our last meeting. The tail risks facing the global economy only months ago have started to recede. However, growth expectations for 2012 remain moderate, deleveraging is constraining consumption and investment growth, volatility remains high partly reflecting financial market pressures in Europe and downside risks still persist. We remain committed to further reduce these risks. High levels of public and private indebtedness, the need for structural reforms, insufficient global rebalancing, and persistent unemployment and development gaps continue to weigh on medium-term global growth prospects. In the context of high unemployment and indebtedness in many countries, supporting growth and job creation, structural reforms, restoring medium-term fiscal sustainability and promoting global rebalancing remain at the core of our commitments. In addition, protecting investment is crucial for the global recovery and, in accordance to the mandate by our Leaders in Cannes, we reaffirm our commitment to avoid protectionism. Vigilant of high oil prices, G20 members stand ready to carry out additional actions as needed and welcome the commitments by producing countries to ensure adequate supply.

We remain committed to take the necessary actions to secure global financial stability. We welcome the euro area members’ decisions in March to strengthen European firewalls as part of broader reform efforts and the availability of central bank swap lines. Together with the IMFC we have reached agreement to enhance IMF resources for crisis prevention and resolution. This is the result of a broad international cooperative effort that includes a significant number of countries. There are firm commitments to increase resources made available to the IMF by over $430 billion in addition to the quota increase under the 2010 Reform. These resources will be available for the whole membership of the IMF, and not earmarked for any particular region. The resources would be channeled through temporary bilateral loans and note purchase agreements to the IMF’s General Resources Account. Should it become necessary to use these resources, adequate risk mitigation features, conditionality and burden sharing among official creditors would apply, as approved by the IMF Board. This effort, together with the national and regional structural, fiscal, and monetary actions that have been put in place in the past months, shows the commitment of the international community to safeguard global financial stability and put the global economic recovery on a sounder footing.

We welcome recent initiatives on IMF surveillance, and agree that the current surveillance framework should be significantly enhanced. This process should help achieve a better integration of bilateral and multilateral surveillance, with a focus on global, domestic and financial stability, including spillovers from countries policies. This could be achieved through a careful use of Article IV consultations. We welcome the progress by the IMF in advancing consideration of an integrated surveillance decision and commit to support the decision process. We underscore the importance of rigorous surveillance on exchange rate policies and support a more ample coverage of surveillance activities, where relevant, including global liquidity, capital flows, capital account measures, reserve and fiscal, monetary and financial sector policies that could have an impact on external stability. We welcome the ongoing work to produce an external sector report, which would strengthen multilateral analysis and enhance the transparency of surveillance. We also recognize that political ownership and traction is critical to effective surveillance, and that the IMFC has a role in facilitating the active involvement of all IMF members. We call on the IMF to address issues that constrain effective surveillance as identified by the IEO.

We reiterate our call upon all countries to join the Global Forum on transparency and to sign on the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Assistance. We look forward to an interim report by the OECD for the Los Cabos Summit on progress made and on a new set of reviews and on necessary steps to improve comprehensive information exchange. We welcome the ongoing work by the FSB on adherence to supervisory and regulatory information exchange and cooperation standards. We support the renewal of the FATF mandate, sustaining global efforts to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

We welcome the participation of the International Organizations on the assessment of the macroeconomic impacts of excessive commodity price volatility on growth and their identification of policy options that countries could consider as per their national circumstances to mitigate any such effects. We will report to Leaders in Los Cabos on these policy options and their implications for our national agendas.

We appreciate G20 countries’ contributions and involvement in promoting Disaster Risk Management (DRM), and welcome the efforts made so far by the World Bank and OECD, with support from the UN to prepare a compilation of country experiences to be presented to our Leaders in Los Cabos, and towards having, by November, a voluntary framework aimed to facilitate the assessment of risk and financial strategies towards implementing DRM.