Top finance officials debate what's needed for global growth

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

DRESDEN, Germany (AP) — Officials from the Group of Seven rich democracies convened some of the world's best-known economists to explore ideas on how to keep the global upswing going.

The meeting of finance ministers and central bank officials in Dresden is taking place amid concern that recoveries in Europe and the United States face obstacles before they become broad and self-sustaining.

Worries include volatility in stock and bond markets and a lack of investment by governments and businesses in new projects.

The ministers heard views Thursday from, among others, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who has warned that weak investment could lead to long-term stagnation, and Robert Shiller of Yale University, who has studied speculative market booms.

The finance officials, led by host Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble of Germany, are holding preliminary talks that will set up a meeting of the countries' heads of state and government June 7-8 at the Schloss Elmau resort outside Munich, Germany.

Greece's effort to reach a deal with creditor countries has cast a shadow over the summit, although Greece is not a G-7 country. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is pressing Greece's European creditors, led by Germany, and the International Monetary Fund to reach a deal on more bailout money in order to avoid a messy Greek default or exit from the shared euro currency. That could have uncertain consequences for markets and the global economy.

The G-7 countries are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the U.S.