G20 defuses talk of 'currency war', no accord on debt
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"Advanced economies will develop credible medium-term fiscal strategies ... by the St. Petersburg summit," the communique said.
The United States, which has resorted to massive monetary stimulus and higher government borrowing to drive growth and cut jobless queues, blocked a push from Europe to commit to reducing budget deficits.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said the G20 had failed to reach agreement on medium-term budget deficit levels.
"We expect by April countries will have made progress on reaching a balanced approach to establishing new budget indicators on both, deficit and the level of government debt," Siluanov said.
Russia, this year's chair of the G20, also expressed concern about ultra-loose policies that it and other big emerging economies say could store up trouble for later.
Siluanov said a rebalancing of global growth required more than an adjustment of exchange rates.
"Structural reforms in all countries, either with a positive or negative balance of payments, should play a bigger role," he said, adding that spillover effects of unconventional monetary policy, conducted by central banks in some countries, should be closely monitored.
The G20 put together a huge financial backstop to halt a market meltdown in 2009 but has failed to reach those heights since. At successive meetings, Germany has pressed the United States and others to do more to tackle their debts. Washington in turn has urged Berlin to do more to increase demand.
On currencies, the G20 text reiterated its commitment last November, to move towards "exchange rate flexibility to reflect underlying fundamentals and avoid persistent exchange rate misalignments".
"The G7 made a very clear statement this week. I think you'll see the G20 echo what was said, and say that currencies should not be used as a tool of competitive devaluation," Britain's finance minister, George Osborne, said in Moscow.
"Countries shouldn't make the mistake of the past of using currencies as a tool of economic warfare."
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