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IMF urges key G20 countries to spend more for growth

CHENGDU: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned risks to the global economy are growing, as it called on some G20 nations to boost government spending.

Central bank chiefs and finance ministers from the world’s top 20 economies gathered in the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu on Saturday to tackle a slowing global economy facing new uncertainties with Britain voting to leave the European Union (EU).

“Global growth remains weak, and downside risks have become more salient,” the IMF said in a report released ahead of the G20 meeting.

“Growth could be even lower if the current increases in economic and political uncertainty in the wake of the ‘Brexit’ vote continue.”

In an update to its April forecast, the IMF lowered its forecasts for global growth this year and next by 0.1 percent, to 3.1 percent and 3.5 percent respectively.

Britain’s new finance minister Philip Hammond is among those attending to deliver a message that his country is still “open for business”, according to a statement from the British treasury.

The IMF wants advanced economies like Germany and the United States to channel more public spending into infrastructure investment to help boost global growth, an issue that has sparked divisions among G20 members.

“Reforms that facilitate the scaling up of infrastructure investment would help raise productive capacity, boost short-term demand directly, and catalyse private investment,” it said.

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