Protester in front of US Treasury building in Washington, DC

Finance officials with the Group of Seven major industrialized nations say the world's recent economic expansion has been robust, but problems remain, including higher oil prices.

The G7 officials - representing Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States - said after talks in Washington Saturday, they expect the positive growth to continue this year.

But they said "vigorous" action is needed to address global imbalances and promote growth. They also called on the United States to address its surging trade deficit, and for further structural reforms in Europe and Japan.

The statement came ahead of World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings that are expected to address debt relief, oil prices, and trade imbalances.

Police have closed off streets around where the meetings are being held. Demonstrators are gathering to call for debt relief for poor nations and protest globalization.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.