The Straits Times
Published on Oct 11, 2012

IMF chief urges action in tackling euro crisis


TOKYO (AP) - The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday called for urgent action to tackle Europe's debt problems and an approaching fiscal crisis in the United States, warning that the struggling world economy is already falling short of even pessimistic expectations.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde, speaking to reporters as the IMF and the World Bank held annual meetings in Tokyo, praised recent steps taken by the European Central Bank (ECB) and European governments, but said "more needs to happen, and faster".

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven richest nations also were holding an informal gathering where they were expected to discuss steps to address Europe's debt crisis, weaker growth in Asia and an impending budget impasse in the US.

The IMF has scaled back its global growth forecast for 2012 to 3.3 per cent from 3.5 per cent, and has warned that even its dimmer outlook might prove too optimistic if Europe and the US fail to resolve their crises.