IMF China / Haiti / SDRs / Lebanon

The IMF pushed China to ramp up reforms aimed at boosting domestic demand, Fund spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters Thursday in Washington, DC (January 4).

“The second quarter GDP data from China was released overnight and it suggests that the recovery in China continues broadly as expected. With the sequential, meaning quarter-on-quarter growth picking up after the rapid slowdown in the first quarter. But, it remains unbalanced. Consumption is still lagging, suggesting that the handover from public to private demand is not yet secured. So broadly as expected, but remains unbalanced.”

He also reacted to the assassination of Haiti’s president Jovenel Moise by gunmen, pointing out that the IMF had acted to help that country with emergency finance last year.

“We call for unity to find a way out of this crisis. We are engaged with officials in Haiti to support the country’s institutions, try and help them foster economic and social stability. And, you know, we hope to be able to work closely with the incoming government to promote economic growth and and poverty reduction.”

Rice laid out a timeline for approval of the expansion of Special Drawing Rights, which some are calling for to be distributed or ‘channeled’ from rich countries to distressed or poor ones.

“The G7, you might recall, referred to a global ambition. Amplifying this SDR, new SDRs allocation with a global ambition of around 100 billion dollars to the vulnerable, more vulnerable countries. We would certainly be supportive of an objective being as ambitious as possible in terms of getting resources, additional resources to the poorer and more vulnerable countries.”

Rice also reacted to news from Lebanon that Prime Minster-designate Saad Hariri was stepping down.

“We continue to be engaged with the authorities and discussions at the technical level continue. We look forward to the formation of a new government with a mandate to implement reforms and to address the deepening crisis, which is at the root of the worsening social conditions and growing poverty. And we’ve said before what we think these policies need to do to restore macroeconomic stability and pave the way for investment, jobs and and growth.”

A full transcript of this briefing may be found at IMF.org

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