O'Neill: Don't Rely On U.S. As Growth Engine

By BridgeNews While the U.S. remains committed to a blend of healthy economic growth and low inflation, the world must not rely on it to be the engine of global growth, says U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. Other countries must also meet their growth potential, and Europe and Japan must navigate obstacles in their own economies to help the global expansion and reduce external imbalances. "The United States . . . has experienced an extraordinary period -- leading expansion in the world economy and the innovations that have helped improve potential," O'Neill notes. "Nonetheless, the world must not rely on the United States as the engine of global growth." O'Neill spoke prior to departing for tomorrow's gathering in Palermo, Italy, of finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations. He said that other countries "must also grow at their true potential rate," and that Europe and Japan in particular "must tackle challenges in their economies to help contribute to global expansion and a reduction in external imbalances." O'Neill added that "sustaining economic growth must be at the heart" of G7 efforts and that as the world economy "begins to slow somewhat, policies focused on sustaining growth are more important than ever."

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