G20-Spurring growth centre stage as finance chiefs meet in Istanbul

Sun Feb 8, 2015 4:25am EST
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By Nick Tattersall

ISTANBUL Feb 8 (Reuters) - Finance ministers and central bankers face a tough task coordinating action to spur global growth at G20 meetings this week, with major economies running at different speeds and monetary policies diverging.

Concern over the ability of the United States to sustain the global economy as most other parts of the world slow will be high on the agenda as the Group of 20 leading economies hold talks in Istanbul on Monday and Tuesday.

With Greece's woes casting a shadow over Europe again, cheap oil playing havoc with inflation and growth forecasts, and the strengthening dollar posing a threat to emerging market economies, the meetings come at a critical time.

"There is a lot at stake," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said in a blog post published on Friday.

"Without action, we could see the global economic supertanker continuing to be stuck in the shallow waters of sub-par growth and meagre job creation."

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, who is in charge of the economy, has said tackling sluggish global growth and giving low income nations more voice will be priorities for Turkey's G20 presidency.

The former will be easier said than done.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said last week the United States could not be "the sole engine of growth" and a senior U.S. official said Washington's message going into the meetings would again be that Europe is not doing enough.   Continued...