UPDATE 1-Now is best time for reforms, many G7 participants say-official

Thu May 28, 2015 11:54am EDT
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DRESDEN, Germany May 28 (Reuters) - Many of the finance chiefs from the Group of Seven countries agreed on Thursday that now was the best time to implement structural reforms, a German G7 delegation official said.

"Answering the question of when is the best time for structural reforms, a lot said that now is actually the best time because exactly that could, in the current situation, have the most impact," the official said.

The official said the finance ministers and central bank chiefs had discussed in detail the causes of slower economic growth and agreed that structural reforms were essential in order to maintain growth potential, the official said.

"Everyone said that high debt, whether it be of governments, companies or private households, can burden growth and debt-financed growth is no alternative to structural reforms," the official said.

Record low interest rates mean it is extremely cheap for governments to borrow money at the moment, allowing them to pay for programmes that would boost growth or finance structural reforms before they start bearing fruit..

The European Central Bank has repeatedly warned that monetary policy cannot replace structural reforms and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged countries to implement reforms. (Reporting by Michelle Martin and Paul Carrel)