IMF chief warns of risks to global recovery


The global economic recovery is not complete and remains vulnerable to a number of threats, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday.

Speaking at the IMF-World Bank Group annual meetings in Washington D.C., IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the IMF sees a stronger recovery in the global economy in 2017 and 2018, but there are still constraints on some countries.

"Last year, 47 countries experienced negative growth on a per capita basis, including many small and fragile economies," she said, due to the limited impact of technology and income inequality.

"The most efficient way to reduce inequalities would be to actually close the gender gap between men and women. Whether it is access to the labor market, whether it is access to finance, whether it's the gender gap in terms of compensation, that would achieve a lot in order to reduce inequalities. And that applies across the world," she said.

Lagarde addressed some of the potential risks she sees against the global economic recovery in areas of financial regulations, financial markets and trade.

Since the 2008 global crisis, there has been much done in financial regulations, she said, adding, "all sorts of financial innovation and disruptions should be taken into account on a global basis."

She also warned about the risks in tightening of financial markets and capital outflows from emerging economies and low-income countries.

She said trade between countries should be preserved for growth, adding "we need to secure it ... trying to reduce it would not be helpful."

As for the U.K.'s exit from the European Union, or Brexit, Lagarde said it should be "conducted promptly in order to reduce the level of uncertainty and anxiety of people about the outcome and the situation of people first and of businesses second".

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