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IMF calls for quick end to Brexit uncertainty, says it is hurting global economy

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde today said that the uncertainty over Britain's vote to leave the European Union is dampening global economic growth and the country must decide what next.

India TV Business Desk, Beijing [ Updated: July 22, 2016 14:26 IST ]
Christine Lagarde
Christine Lagarde

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde today said that the uncertainty over Britain's vote to leave the European Union is dampening global economic growth and the country must decide what next.

"Our first and immediate recommendation is for this uncertainty surrounding the terms of Brexit to be removed as quickly as possible so that we know the terms of trade and the ways in which the United Kingdom will continue to operate in the global economy," Lagarde said.

Lagarde said that before the British vote, the IMF had been preparing to raise its global growth forecast by 0.1 percentage points due to improvement in Japan, China and the 17-country euro zone. But later it cut this year's global growth forecast by 0.1 percentage points to 3.1 per cent due to the shockwaves of the British vote.

"Unfortunately, the United Kingdom decided to go for Brexit. This is disappointing," said Lagarde, a former French finance minister.

Investors are watching the G20 meeting for any sign the United States, Germany, China and other major economies may agree on joint action to accelerate a weak global economic recovery.

A similar meeting in February in Shanghai ended with a joint statement that said coordinated action was impossible because major countries were at different points in their economic cycles.

Some investors believe envoys in Shanghai agreed secretly to weaken the dollar to spur trade but there has been no official confirmation of that.

The final statement from this weekend's gathering in  Chengdu in China's southwest "will be under scanner for any hints of policy coordination monetary or fiscal," Citigroup economists said in a report.

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, speaking to reporters in Athens before flying to China, downplayed the likelihood of joint action.

"I don't think this is a moment that calls for the kind of coordinated action that occurred during the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009," said Lew. "It really is a moment where we each need to do what we can to ensure that where growth is soft it gets stronger and that prospects for the medium- and long-term are improved."

With AP Inputs

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