G7 pledges to ‘do whatever is necessary’ to restore growth

President of the European Council Donald Tusk, clockwise from center front, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, U.S. President Donald Trump, President of France Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson take part in a working session with G7 leaders on the second day of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

G7 finance ministers and central bank chiefs on Tuesday vowed to “do whatever is necessary” to safeguard jobs and the economy from disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The officials said they are working cooperatively with “substantial and complementary packages” to help companies weather the impact.

“We will do whatever is necessary to restore confidence and economic growth and to protect jobs, businesses, and the resilience of the financial system,” the group said in a statement released in Washington.

The statement came as Wall Street rebounded at the open, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 6.7 percent on expectations the US Congress would soon pass a trillion-dollar stimulus package.

Last week, leaders of the G7 comprising Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States issued a similar statement vowing to protect economic growth, while warning the outbreak poses “major risks for the world economy.”

That prediction appears to have born fruit, with some forecasters predicting the global economy could shrink 1.5 percent this year and the US seen as facing a staggering 14 percent contraction.

In their Tuesday statement, the finance and central bank heads called on all countries to take “liquidity support and fiscal expansion” measures, and said they would coordinate weekly on their own moves.

“We pledge to maintain expansionary policies for as long as needed and stand ready to take further action, using the full range of instruments consistent with our mandates,” the statement said. – AFP