G20 will not urge Fed to postpone rate hike

Even though there is pressure on US Federal Reserve not to hike interest rates amid Chinese slowdown and market turmoil, G20 communique will not call for delay, delegates told in Ankara

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Finance ministers and central bank governors of the G20 nations gather for photo at the IMF and World Bank meetings in Washington, April 17, 2015

The US Federal Reserve is coming under pressure from emerging markets not to raise rates too soon as turmoil in China threatens global growth, but the G20 will not publicly call for any delay, delegates meeting in Turkey said on Friday.

Slower growth in China and rising market volatility have boosted the risks to the global economy, the International Monetary Fund warned ahead of the G20 meeting, citing a mix of potential dangers such as depreciating emerging market currencies and tumbling commodity prices.

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 leading economies will be pressing for more on China's plans to tackle its slowdown, amid emerging market concern that a US rate hike on top of the Chinese turmoil would pile on extra pressure, delegates at the meeting in Ankara said.

"The focus is going to be on how to deal with the instability and how to get growth going again," Canadian Finance Minister Joe Oliver told Reuters as the two-day meeting got underway.

But the G20 is unlikely to come up with any concrete new measures designed to address the spillover from the instability in the world's second-largest economy, or to call directly on Beijing to address structural issues such as rising bad debts.

Nor is it likely to pressure the Fed to delay its expected rate hikes, despite unease in some emerging markets that such moves could cause capital outflows and currency volatility.

"We cannot live all the time on easy money," Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, told Reuters.

"The decision of the Fed will be influenced by many factors inside and outside the US ... This G20 comes at a very good time because it gives the Fed an opportunity to gauge all the elements at stake," he said.

"One has to be realistic that at one point in time the curve of interest rates will have to change."

One G20 source said the wording of the communique would probably not go beyond a general caution to central banks to bear in mind the consequences of any shifts in monetary policy.

"There will be no open demand to the Fed to act," the source told Reuters.