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IMF: Challenges facing world economy require close cooperation
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17:50, April 13, 2008

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The challenges facing the world economy are of a global nature, requiring strong action and close cooperation among the membership, the International Monetary Fund (IMF)stressed here Saturday.

"Global financial instability has increased," the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the steering committee of the 185-nation institution, said in a communique released following its 17th meeting.

World economic growth has slowed and growth prospects for this year and 2009 have deteriorated, the communique said.

It pointed out that risks to the outlook come from the still unfolding events in financial markets and from the potential worsening of housing and credit cycles while inflationary risks --notably from higher prices of food, energy, and other commodity --have also risen.

"Policymakers should continue to respond to the challenge of dealing with the financial crisis and supporting activity, while making sure that inflation is kept under control," the committee said.

Although each country's situation is different, coherent action must be taken, taking due account of cross-border interaction, it stressed.

In the advanced economies, the committee said, monetary policy should continue to aim at medium-term price stability, while responding flexibly to signs of a more pronounced and prolonged economic downturn.

In the Untied States, temporary fiscal easing will help to counter downside risks to growth, it added.

It said that emerging market and developing countries have so far continued to grow strongly and show resilience in the face of the ongoing financial crisis, though their growth prospects have moderated and inflation risks have increased.

"For many countries, containing inflation and addressing vulnerabilities remain key priorities," the committee added.

Meanwhile, it noted that a number of developing countries, especially low-income countries, face a sharp rise in food and energy prices, which have a particularly strong impact on the poorest segments of the population.

The committee urged the IMF to work closely with the World Bank and other partners in an integrated response through policy advice and financial support.

It also reiterated its strong support for a prompt and ambitious conclusion of the Doha Developing Round of trade negotiations.

According to the communique, the next meeting of the IMFC will be held in Washington D.C. on Oct. 11, 2008.

Source: Xinhua

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