U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Saturday it was too early to start withdrawing stimulus for the world's top economies, but governments should start to outline plans for future fiscal sustainability.
Growth should remain the principal focus of policy among the G8 and broader G20 economies, Geithner said in a statement issued after finance ministers from the Group of Eight economies finished a meeting here.
He said governments need to continue to reinforce recent improvements in global demand and lay a foundation for a durable recovery.
It is too early to shift toward policy restraint, Geithner said. Economic and financial recovery, however, will be stronger and more sustainable if we make clear today how we get back to fiscal sustainability when the storm has fully passed.
For that reason, he said the United States was committed to bringing down its fiscal deficits quickly to a sustainable level, starting in 2011, and would work to reduce long-term health care costs that are adding to deficits.
Our programs to repair the credit markets and the financial system are designed to be temporary and quickly reversible, he said.
Geithner said the global economy was at a time of transition, as the rate of gross domestic product decline in major economies has slowed, while growth was accelerating in some emerging economies like China and global trade was showing some signs of life.
The force of the economic storm is receding. There are encouraging signs of stabilization across many economies, added.
(Reporting by David Lawder; editing by Patrick Graham)