SYDNEY (Reuters) - The world’s top economies have embraced a goal of expanding activity by more than $2 trillion over five years while creating tens of millions 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 percent of the global economy.
Following are comments from key policymakers at the G20.
“Each country will take to the Brisbane summit it’s plan for economic growth overall. The plan is to get to a potential increase in G20 GDP of 2 percent or more. We don’t have central planning out of the G20 for individual countries.
“There was proper recognition that the movement of monetary policy in major developed countries is going to have an impact on emerging economies and there was proper recognition that will be taken into account in the foreseeable future.”
On growth: “We aim to lift global growth over the next five years by more than $2 trillion, creating tens of millions of new jobs across the globe. We know we have to create policies to do that. Each individual country has to do some heavy lifting. There will be different challenges for different countries.”
On China: “China has to be realistic about the speed at which its economy can grow.”
Regulation: “There was a recognition that we have to address some of the zealotry for market regulation that might be prevalent in some jurisdictions. We have got to make sure that the important regulatory reforms are done, finalised. From that point onwards, we can get on with a more stable regulatory environment.”
On the economy: “We are seeing a recovery that is getting into a more secure place but we are still seeing challenges.”
On tax: “The U.S. welcomes the agreement to move forward on tax reform”, and says they want to “make sure multinational companies pay their fair share”.
On BOJ stimulus: “By ending prolonged deflation, Japan can benefit not only its economy but the global economy as a whole. We’ve explained this in various international gatherings, and I think our view has been recognised by the G20 members.”
On Europe: “It’s true that the inflation rate is slowing in the euro zone, but the region’s economy is bottoming out and inflation expectations are anchored around the central bank’s price target. In general, I don’t think there’s a chance the euro zone will slip into deflation. The region remains the biggest single economic entity in the world, so I hope its economy recovers and gradually heads toward the ECB’s price target.”
On European recovery: “Recovery is still fragile, uneven, it is starting from very low levels of activity — all the words I have used still apply, but less and less so.
“We see progress but we still see downside risks to the recovery.”
On spillovers to emerging markets: “We discussed some of the spillovers that were produced by monetary policy changes in some jurisdiction and how they produce their effects on emerging market economies.
“From this discussion the IMF has emerged as the institution that should function as the trusted anchor of multilateral cooperation — assessing the spill-overs and providing assistance when needed.”
On deflation risk: “I see only a very low risk for deflation in the euro-zone.”
“We do not have any deflationary development in the euro-zone.”
“The nominal wage-increases in Germany can give a certain protection against deflationary risks (in the euro-zone).”
On emerging economies: “One should not overestimate the effect of the emerging countries on the world economy.”
On the G20 goal: “There are goals governments can set and it is in their ability to reach them”. As example, he was speaking of financial goals, such as deficits and debt.
“What growth rates can be achieved, this is the result of a very complicated process.”
“The results of this process can not be guaranteed from politicians.”
“One condition for higher growth rates is the continuation of the reduction of excessive deficits.”
“Solid budget policy is not the opposite of a reasonable growth policy.”
“Though global growth has strengthened in recent months, largely driven by advanced economies, increased financial market and capital flow volatility in emerging economies and low inflation rates in advanced economies pose important challenges ahead. Further action and international cooperation are necessary to promote a more robust global recovery - one that is sustained and fosters healthy job creation - and to counteract actual and potential risks.”
Lagarde said the “prediction of hostilities” between advanced and emerging nations did not come true. “Interestingly enough, and thanks to the good cooperation that was induced by this meeting, we didn’t have that. We had a very good, solid exchange of views ... an understanding of spillover effects one would have on the other.”
“There’s solidity on all sides to face what will be inevitable volatility in the future.”
In a statement: “China will work with other G20 countries to raise productivity, and promote structural reforms and GDP growth. China will work on balancing the need for economic growth, reforms and stability. Growth of 7-8 percent is not only suitable for China, it is also good for advancing world economic growth and sustaining the global economic environment.”
“China’s government attaches great importance to economic risks. Based on references and lessons drawn from the international experience, it is exercising effective supervision over “shadow banks”. The total size of China’s “shadow banks” is not big, but its recent growth has been quick, and we are taking a cautious response.”
“Governor Zhou Xiaochuan called on all parties to take concrete action as soon as possible to implement commitments for IMF reform made at the previous G20 meeting. This is essential for maintaining and protecting the international community’s confidence in the global financial system and the G20’s credibility, and to ensure the legitimacy and the credibility of the IMF.”
Reporting by Sydney G20 team