The global economy had enough momentum before Europe's debt crisis struck to weather it without a sharp downturn, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday.
We have a moderate but pretty solid recovery in place, he said in an interview on CNBC television. Geithner was in Alaska, en route to a meeting of Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers in Busan, Korea, on Friday and Saturday.
The world economy came into this period of concern about Europe with stronger underlying momentum and growth than many people expected, and we're in a much stronger position to get through this, he said.
Geithner said finance chiefs heading for the G20 session share a broad commitment on the need for setting common standards across global financial markets that will constrain some of the risk-taking that helped fire the 2007-2008 U.S. financial crisis.
Risk doesn't respect national boundaries. It's going to move to where the constraints are weakest, he said.
We all have an important stake in making sure we have a strong set of consistent standards in place across these global markets, across these global institutions, and what we're going to try to do in Korea is to try to make sure ... we're solidifying that consensus, Geithner added.
In response to a question about Friday's upcoming government report on May U.S. employment, Geithner said broad measures of U.S. economic activity show a steady, gradual improvement in confidence.
That should eventually translate into more jobs, he said, but he offered no prediction for the May job report. Analysts surveyed by Reuters are forecasting 513,000 new jobs were created last month.
(Reporting by Glenn Somerville and Emily Kaiser; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)