WASHINGTON, Chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde stressed Saturday that in her meetings with G-20 leaders in Argentina, she emphasized that global growth “remains strong,” yet “moderating and becoming more uneven.” At the conclusion of the G-20 summit, Lagarde said in a statement that “pressures on emerging markets have been rising and trade tensions have begun to have a negative impact, increasing downside risks.
“Choosing the right policy is therefore critical for individual economies, the global economy, and for people everywhere,” she stressed.
She affirmed that “the choice is especially stark regarding trade,” where it is estimated that, if recently raised and “threatened” tariffs were to remain in place and announced tariffs were implemented, “about three-quarters of a percent of global GDP could be lost by 2020.” She noted that “if, instead, trade restrictions in services were reduced by 15 percent, global GDP could be higher by one-half of a percent.
“The choice is clear: there is an urgent need to de-escalate trade tensions, reverse recent tariff increases, and modernize the rules-based multilateral trade system,” she remarked.
She warned that another “urgent” issue is the “excessive level of global debt,” which is about USD 182 trillion by the IMF’s estimate, stressing the importance “particularly for highly indebted emerging-market and low-income countries, to rebuild buffers and reverse pro-cyclical fiscal policies.” Lagarde noted that she is “encouraged by the G-20’s continued commitment to strengthen the global financial safety net, with a strong and adequately financed IMF at its center”.
Source: Kuwait News Agency