Advanced G20 countries apart over debt goals after 2016

MOSCOW Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:13am IST

Russian central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina (R) and Australian Treasurer Chris Bowen participate in the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors family photo in Moscow, July 20, 2013. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Russian central bank chief Elvira Nabiullina (R) and Australian Treasurer Chris Bowen participate in the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors family photo in Moscow, July 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Grigory Dukor

Related Topics

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Advanced G20 economies will consider numerical targets for public debt reduction after 2016 to boost investor confidence, a senior G20 official told Reuters on Saturday.

The commitment, to be discussed at a summit of leaders of the world's 20 biggest developing and developed economies (G20) in St. Petersburg in early September, will build on a G20 pledge made in 2010 to stabilise debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016, the official said.

Showing just how far apart different Group of 20 powers are on the issue of binding debt targets, another senior G20 source told Reuters that nothing had been committed to.

"There was no agreement on post-2016 targets," the source said. "The numbers put forward simply reflect budgetary plans."

Below is a table with the numerical targets of the public debt to GDP ratios, which could be approved, according to the G20 official. The numbers for the United States and Canada are for the federal level.

The official said there were no numbers for Japan or for the bulk of emerging market economies and the targets were part of national plans of G20 members to put their public debt on a sustainable path.

The G20 source said the figures merely reflected the best guess as to future budget positions for most countries.

A meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bankers in Moscow on Friday and Saturday declined to set any debt targets, given a consensus that the shorter-term focus had to rest squarely on reviving growth.

Its final communique said progress was being made on credible medium-term fiscal strategies for the St Petersburg Summit but they should be flexible enough to support economic growth and job creation while putting debt as a share of GDP on a sustainable path.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde told reporters after the meeting that it was up to each country to come up with the best policy mix to deliver debt reduction.

"I think the pace at which it declines ... that's this very subtle policy mix which is subject of debate between countries," she said.

"Our view is that it should be country specific, it should be progressive over time, but certainly for all of them, it should be anchored with medium-term measures, goals, that will really bring that degree of confidence that countries a serious about bringing their debt down in the long-run," she said.

(Editing by Mike Peacock)

FILED UNDER:

Reforms Push

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Reuters Exclusive

Reuters Exclusive

India looks to sway Americans with nuclear power insurance plan  Full Article 

To Boost Growth

To Boost Growth

Crank up public spending to revive growth - chief economic adviser.   Full Article 

Bold Steps

Bold Steps

SpiceJet rescue plan marks bold bet on Indian aviation recovery.   Full Article 

New Airline

New Airline

Tata, Singapore Air venture Vistara to take off on Jan 9.  Full Article 

Online Sales

Online Sales

Knock knock. Who's there? Amazon's best-selling holiday author.  Full Article 

26/11 Plotter

26/11 Plotter

Pakistan to challenge bail for Mumbai attack "mastermind".  Full Article 

Chinese Economy

Chinese Economy

China revises up size of 2013 economy, sees no effect on 2014 growth.  Full Article 

Reuters Poll

Reuters Poll

BSE Sensex to hit 32,980 by December 2015  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage