The U.S. dollar will remain the world's primary reserve currency for many years or decades, an International Monetary Fund official said on Thursday.
Spokeswoman Caroline Atkinson's comments came two days after IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said the world can no longer rely on a currency issued by a single country, and a new global currency may evolve out of the IMF's in-house unit of account, known as Special Drawing Rights.
The managing director has said ... he expects the dollar to be the leading reserve currency for many years or decades, Atkinson said at an IMF media briefing.
She said the IMF routinely looks at what is happening in the international monetary system, but was not launching any sort of formal study into how SDRs might one day replace the dollar as a global reserve currency.
During this last financial crisis, people actually found the dollar a safe haven and preferred to move into dollar assets when risk aversion was very high, she said. That suggests there's very solid demand, based on the U.S. economy's strength and size and liquidity of its financial markets.
The dollar's role in the world economy has been a topic of debate in recent months as its value fell against a basket of currencies. China, the largest foreign buyer of U.S. government debt, has expressed growing concern that the weakening dollar would hurt its finances.
(Reporting by Emily Kaiser, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)