IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told that the economy appears to be bright.
Paul Wiseman | Martin Crutsinger AP
WASHINGTON, US.- The head of the International Monetary Fund is urging countries to work out their differences over trade and take advantage of a healthy world economy to reduce debt before the next downturn comes.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told reporters that “the near-term prospect for the global economy appears to be bright.” But clouds are already gathering: an intensifying standoff between the United States and China that threatens to flare up into the biggest trade conflagration since World War II.
Record levels of global debt. Financial markets that are volatile — and vulnerable to an unexpectedly steep uptick in interest rates. For now, the world economy appears to be nestled in a good place: The IMF forecasts 3.9 percent growth this year and next, the fastest since 2011, thanks to increasing investment and trade. And most of the world is sharing in the prosperity, making this the broadest economic expansion in a decade.
Lagarde warned against complacency: “More needs to be done to sustain this upswing and foster long-term growth.” Her comments came at the opening of the spring meetings of the 189-nation IMF and its sister lending organization, the World Bank.
The three days of talks will also include discussions among the Group of 20 major economies, which account for more than 80 percent of global economic output. The United States is being represented by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.