News / Economy

IMF Head Sees Signs of Improved Financial Conditions

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, speaks at the Economic Club of New York,  April 10, 2013.
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, speaks at the Economic Club of New York, April 10, 2013.
Larry Freund
— The head of the International Monetary Fund Wednesday said world financial conditions are improving, but that the gains have not been accompanied by a jump in global growth.  

Christine Lagarde said that after what she called a particularly volatile period, financial conditions are showing signs of improvement.

“Thanks to the actions of policy makers, the economic world no longer looks quite as dangerous as it did nine months ago," said Lagarde. "Yet, we do not expect global growth to be much higher this year than last year’s.  We are seeing new risks and the legacy of old risks that have not been completely dealt with.  In far too many countries, improvements in financial markets have not actually translated into improvements of the real economy - and in the lives of the people.”

The IMF managing director, who is a former French finance minister, made her remarks in a speech to the Economic Club of New York.  She said the differences in the world’s regions are also starker than ever - countries doing well, countries on the mend and countries that still have some distance to cover.

Emerging markets and developing countries, she said, are doing well but are worried about the fallout from exceptionally loose monetary policy in the advanced countries.  The countries that still have some distance to travel, as she put it, include the Euro area and Japan.

Lagarde put the United States in the middle category - as one of the countries on the mend.  She said the U.S. has made rapid and substantial progress in repairing its financial system and there is now steady growth supported by solid financial demand.  She warned, however, about the growing U.S. government debt.

“At this point in the recovery, it is more important than ever to put in place a credible, medium-term roadmap to bring down the debt - a balanced plan that will be based on savings in entitlement spending plus additional revenues," she said.

Lagarde said this is a major policy challenge facing the United States, adding that it must be met or the country’s substantial economic gains could be easily lost.  U.S. President Barack Obama has submitted a budget calling for reductions in spending on entitlement programs, accompanied by tax increases on wealthy Americans.

Republican leaders have rejected any tax increases.

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.