WRAPUP 5-G20 aspires to faster economic growth, roadmap sketchy

Sun Feb 23, 2014 5:04am EST
 
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* G20 aims to expand GDP by extra 2 pct over 5 years

* Growth to come via structural reforms, to be agreed on by November

* Emerging nations get a nod on calls for central bank coordination

By Louise Egan and Jan Strupczewski

SYDNEY, Feb 23 (Reuters) - The world's top economies have embraced a goal of generating more than $2 trillion in additional output over five years while creating tens of million 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.

"We will develop ambitious but realistic policies with the aim to lift our collective GDP by more than 2 percent above the trajectory implied by current policies over the coming 5 years," the G20 statement said.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, who hosted the meeting, sold the plan as a new day for cooperation in the G20.

"We are putting a number to it for the first time -- putting a real number to what we are trying to achieve," Hockey told a news conference. "We want to add over $2 trillion more in economic activity and tens of millions of new jobs."   Continued...