Saturday, June 13, 2009
World's richest nations plan economic recovery
Maybe the worldwide recession actually is over. The world's eight richest nations ended two days of talks Saturday in Italy to plan for the expected worldwide economic recovery, according to the Reuters international news service. Or maybe the recession is about to be over for them. Meeting in Lecce, finance ministers of the world's eight richest nations began getting ready for the end of stimulus programs propping up their economies. "The force of the economic storm is receding," U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said as the Group of Eight meeting concluded. "There are encouraging signs of stabilization across many economies." Ministers agreed that the stimulus programs would not be ending anytime soon, however, and also agreed to ask the International Monetary Fund to help them figure out the best way to bring the programs to a conclusion. But there appeared to be sharp disagreement on how to roll back stimulus spending plans and how to stress-test each country's banks, Reuters said. In fact, Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin called the meeting "stormy" since there were major arguments about what stage the crisis had reached. Conservative nations like Germany and Canada are pressuring other G8 nations to end stimulus programs to keep interest rates from rising too rapidly once the recovery takes hold. But Geithner said the United States would probably not be tightening monetary policy anytime soon. "It is too early to shift toward policy restraint," he told the ministers. Reuters said a G8 source who did not want to be named said the IMF report would likely be presented in October at the fund's annual meeting in Istanbul. Private sector economists do not expect tightening of fiscal and monetary policy before next year, Reuters said. The other G8 nations are Japan, Britain, France and Italy.