G7 finance leaders debate global economy, risks – Reuters

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SENDAI, Japan Finance leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) advanced economies gathered in the northeast Japanese city of Sendai for a two-day discussion on issues ranging from the global economy, its risks and an appropriate policy response.

Below are key quotes from briefings by the finance leaders after the conclusion of G7 meetings on Saturday:

JAPANESE FINANCE MINISTER TARO ASO:

“We (G7) reaffirmed the importance of currency stability given recent market movements. Japan has committed to avoiding competitive devaluation of currencies.”

“I understand to a certain degree that (the yen) may move up or down. However, looking at the past several weeks, the yen has moved by 5 yen in two days or 8-9 yen in 10days and we cannot clearly say such a move is orderly. From the U.S. standpoint, they may say the yen was at 70 yen or so until recently. That was natural for them. They are facing elections, we are facing elections too, and both have (Trans Pacific Partnership). It is our job to make statements. We must prevent such differences of opinions from becoming emotionally complicated by exchanging opinions.”

FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER MICHEL SAPIN:

“We have growth, but it needs to be stronger and more sustainable. There is a consensus that monetary policy is well-adapted and there are no big discrepancies in currencies, so there is no need to intervene.”

“We don’t need a big fiscal stimulus package similar to 2008, but countries that can should work on fiscal measures.”

“The G7 did not talk about a ‘Plan B’ to respond to what would happen if Britain left the European Union. We talked about ways to help Britain stay in the EU.”

BANK OF FRANCE GOVERNOR FRANCOIS VILLEROY DE GALHAU:

“This G7 meeting shows that the economic situation has stabilized. Monetary policies are focused on the situation in each economy. The euro/dollar rate is stable and in line with fundamentals.”

GERMAN FINANCE MINISTER WOLFGANG SCHAEUBLE:

On Greece and the IMF:

“I have not solved any differences in my meeting with Madame Lagarde, because we have none.”

“We will make it…whether we will finish the talks already on Tuesday, I am not sure about it.”

On a Brexit-referendum:

“We hope that this will not lead to a Brexit.”

“We agreed that (a Brexit) would be the wrong decision.”

On economic growth policies:

“We must be careful, that the progress we have reached since the financial crisis of 2008 must not be wiped out because of…too much liquidity in the markets followed by increasing risk-takings.”

“We all agreed that the state of the world economy is more positive and less nervous than somebody of us thought some weeks ago.”

On growth strategy:

“We all agreed that there are three elements we need to pursue: structural reforms, monetary policy and fiscal policy.:

“The most important are structural reforms…there are more and more recognizing (in the G7) that structural reforms are crucial.”

“We also have discussed the high volatility of the global capital movements, which are a high risk for the world economy.”

BUNDESBANK GOVERNOR JENS WEIDMANN:

“In Germany, growth in the first quarter was pretty strong…but we expect that in the forthcoming months this growth-rate can not be maintained.”

BANK OF JAPAN GOVERNOR HARUHIKO KURODA:

“As for monetary policy, we shared our understanding on various agreements made in past international meetings. We confirmed that central banks conduct monetary policy consistent with their mandates to support the economy and prices. Japan, the United States and the euro zone each explained its monetary policy. There were sufficient exchanges of views and we were able to deepen our understanding on each other’s policy.”

(Reporting by Leika Kihara, Tetsushi Kajimoto, Stanley White and Gernot Heller; Editing by Sam Holmes)

G7 finance leaders debate global economy, risks – Reuters}