AP Economics Writer
---- — WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the International Monetary Fund says the United States, Europe, Japan and China all need to make adjustments to their current economic policies in order to boost a still-struggling global economy.
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says the United States and many countries in Europe need to focus more on growth and less on trimming budget balances this year. She said there was a critical need for policies focused on spurring jobs. Lagarde told a news conference Thursday that “we need growth, first and foremost.”
Lagarde spoke to reporters to preview upcoming discussions among finance ministers and central bank governors of the world’s 20 major economies plus the spring meetings of the 188-nation IMF and its sister lending institution, the World Bank.
Earlier this week, the IMF lowered its outlook for the world economy this year, predicting that government spending cuts would slow U.S. growth and keep the 17-nation area that uses the euro currency in recession.
Officials of the Group of 20, among them Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, were scheduled to wrap up today with the issuance of a joint communique.