"Although the economic environment has weakened, the policy resolve has strengthened." This is how Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance , who is Chair of the IMF's policy-setting committee, described the outcome of the IMF-World Bank annual meetings in Tokyo.
"Growth is slower than anyone expected," he admitted in a video interview. "It is slower in Europe, it is not as fast as it should be in the United States, not as fast as it should be to bring unemployment down, and it is slowing in Asia to a greater extent than was expected. Tharman is chair of the 24-member IMFC.
"But we are now in a much better situation than six months ago when it comes to policy solutions." He said there had been major steps forward in Europe “despite some disagreement on individual pieces.” But underlying problems in the Eurozone, budget problems in the United States, and structural problems in global economy are longer term problems and "cannot be fixed quickly."
For a quick brief on the outcomes from the meetings in Tokyo, take a look at:
- Europe: The head of the IMF's European Department talks about developments in the eurozone
- IMFC: IMF urges policymakers to implement agreed solutions; Lipton on meetings outcomes
- Lagarde: global growth hampered by uncertainty ; roadmap forward; Sendai blog
- Global outlook: global growth slows ; financial sector ; public finances
- Regional outlooks: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe
- Gold sales: poor get boost