U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Friday called on the euro zone and Japan to do more to spur growth as the global economy continues to disappoint, highlighting what is sure to be a bone of contention as Group of 20 ministers gather in Australia.
While lauding the strength of the U.S. economy, Lew said more work was needed to achieve faster and more balanced economic growth and to boost demand.
“The United States continues to be a source of strength in the global economy,” Lew said in remarks with his Australian counterpart Joe Hockey.
“But overall, the global economy continues to underperform. This is particularly true in the Euro Area and Japan, while a number of emerging market economies are also slowing,” Lew said at the start of a G20 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in the northern Australian city of Cairns.
His call is likely to get a cool reception from the Europeans. Speaking during a stopover in Hong Kong, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble said his country’s economy was robust and that it was important for Europe to stick with the tough path of fiscal reform.
“We are in the global economy and in Europe in a situation, in which we seem to have too much liquidity and too much public debt,” Schauble told reporters.