The great challenges for the global economy are creating jobs and coping with the escalating price of food, leaders of the top international economic organizations said Thursday as the world’s top finance officials descended on Washington for a series of meetings.
Finance ministers and central bankers from most of the nations of the world will be in town for the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank this weekend. On Friday, leaders of 20 major world economies will hold their own gathering. This set of meetings lacks the high-stakes drama of some others in recent years but could bring quiet and gradual progress on a range of issues, most notably reshaping the world economy to make it less vulnerable to financial shocks.
It takes place against the backdrop of a global economy that is expanding unevenly, with economies in China and many other developing nations overheating while the United States and much of the rest of the developed world are in continued dire straits. And the divide is occurring alongside global turmoil — the Middle East experiencing political upheaval, Japan recovering from a massive disaster and Europe limping through a debt crisis in several countries.