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G20 nears accord on deficit cuts

Canada’s finance minister Jim Flaherty said on Thursday that the Group of 20 nations hopes to announce an agreement on deficit reduction targets at next week’s economic summit here.

business Updated: Jun 18, 2010 21:28 IST

Canada’s finance minister Jim Flaherty said on Thursday that the Group of 20 nations hopes to announce an agreement on deficit reduction targets at next week’s economic summit here.

Flaherty said G-20 is making progress on hard targets on deficit and debt reduction, though there hasn’t been an agreement on numbers yet.

He said leaders are aiming to reach a deal at the June 26-27 summit.

“There is reasonable progress on the fiscal consolidation issue including talking about trying to have some concrete targets that we would agree on,” Flaherty said. “We’re aiming at arriving at that kind of agreement.” Flaherty did not indicate any targets for debt reduction or deadlines.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has urged nations not to reduce stimulus spending too quickly. Flaherty called it a delicate balance and said the European sovereign debt crisis has driven home the need to restore fiscal sustainability. “We’re all agreed that the No 1 priority is fiscal consolidation,” Flaherty said. “What we need, is (to balance) the restraint that fiscal consolidation brings and the need for continuing stimulus so that economic growth is not curtailed.”