The IMF acknowledged today that a prolonged period of low growth has brought to the fore the concerns of “those who have been left behind” and said it was important that the benefits of global economic integration is shared by everyone. The IMF member-countries committed themselves to achieve a strong, sustainable and job-rich growth, using all policy tools — monetary and fiscal, and structural reforms — both individually and collectively. A communique issued at the end of the 35th meeting of the IMF said the global economic recovery was gaining momentum, commodity prices have firmed up and deflation risks were receding. While the outlook is improving, growth is still modest and subject to heightened political and policy uncertainties, it said.
Crisis legacies, high-debt levels, weak-productivity growth, and demographic trends remain challenging headwinds in advanced economies; while domestic imbalances, sharper-than- expected financial tightening, and negative spillovers from global uncertainty pose challenges for some emerging market and developing countries, the communique said. Trade, financial integration, and technological innovation have brought significant benefits, improving living standards, and lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty, it said.
“However, the prolonged period of low growth has brought to the fore the concerns of those who have been left behind. It is important to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from global economic integration and technological progress,” the IMF said. “We reinforce our commitment to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced, inclusive, and job-rich growth. To this end, we will use all policy tools—monetary and fiscal policies, and structural reforms—both individually and collectively,” it said.
The IMF member-countries reaffirmed their commitment to communicate policy stances clearly, avoid “inward-looking” policies, and preserve global financial stability. Recognising that excessive volatility and disorderly movements in exchange rates can have adverse implications for economic and financial stability, the IMF member-countries said that they will refrain from competitive devaluations, and will not target their exchange rates for competitive purposes. “We will also work together to reduce excessive global imbalances by pursuing appropriate policies. We are working to strengthen the contribution of trade to our economies,” it said.
The IMF said its priorities include accommodative monetary policy, growth-friendly fiscal policy, tailored, prioritised, and sequenced structural reforms; safeguarding financial stability and a more inclusive global economy. Noting that the IMF has a key role in supporting the membership at this challenging time to sustain the recovery and lift productivity and tackle vulnerabilities, the communique called on the IMF to promote policies that will expand opportunities, facilitate multilateral solutions to meet global challenges, and promote sustainable policies over time.