February 22, 2016
Can China Revive the G20?

by Tristram Sainsbury

Shanghai will welcome finance ministers and central bank governors for the first major meeting of China's G20 presidency at the end of this week. It should be an instructive meeting for a variety of reasons.

As I point out in the latest G20 Monitor, the global economy continues to face significant short and long-term challenges. This year is likely to be characterized by disappointing growth and persistently high unemployment. The IMF predicts that the global economy will grow at 3.4 percent in 2016, while the OECD just downgraded its 2016 growth forecast from 3.3 percent to 3 percent. G20 policymakers will be familiar with these preconditions of sluggish, uneven economic growth and mounting risks; these were the same sorts of challenges that influenced the start of Australia's 2014 presidency and the Turkish 2015 presidency. That said, there seems to be less room for complacency this time around. A crisis seems a more realistic prospect than it was a year ago. What's more, a repeat of the downward revision of the 0.75–1 percentage point magnitude made in recent years would, to some, be a reflection of global recession (although what constitutes a global recession makes for an fun ongoing debate among technocrats).

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