By Peter Egwuatu
THE IMF’s steering committee warned that global growth is at risk of faltering in coming years amid uncomfortably weak inflation and rising geopolitical tensions.
“The recovery is not yet complete, with inflation below target in most advanced economies, and potential growth remains weak in many countries,” the International Monetary and Financial Committee said in a communiqué released Saturday in Washington. “Near-term risks are broadly balanced, but there is no room for complacency because medium-term economic risks are tilted to the downside and geopolitical tensions are rising.”
The panel also reiterated previous stances on currencies, such as saying that “we will refrain from competitive devaluations, and will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes.”
The IMF panel released the statement during the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The IMFC is the IMF’s top advisory panel, and is composed of 24 ministers and central bankers from nations including the U.S., China, Germany, Japan and France.
Meanwhile, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, has said revision of long-standing trade agreements, if done well, can be a “win-win” for all countries involved.
“Trade is a very powerful engine of growth, innovation, competition and productivity,” Lagarde said in a news conference after a meeting of the IMF’s steering committee.
“It has to be fair, certainly something that everyone agrees upon,” she said, when asked about trade deal renegotiations such as the one for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that is now under way.