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G7 pledges to seek strong global growth

The Group of Seven industrial powers pledged on Friday to seek strong global growth, while papering over differences on currencies and stimulus policies and expressing concern over North Korea, Russia and maritime disputes involving China. “Global growth remains moderate and below potential, while risks of weak growth persist,” the G7 leaders said after a two-day summit in central Japan. “Global growth is our urgent priority.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been playing up what he calls parallels to the global financial crisis as growth in his country sputters. Abe will soon delay for a second time a national sales tax increase, government sources told Reuters on Friday, as the threat of deflation re-emerges and a summer election looms.

The G7 statement said: “We have strengthened the resilience of our economies in order to avoid falling into another crisis and, to this end, commit to reinforce our efforts to address the current economic situation by taking all appropriate policy responses in a timely manner.” The G7 committed in their broad-ranging, 32-page declaration to market-based exchange rates and to avoiding “competitive devaluation” of their currencies, while warning against wild exchange-rate moves.

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