The US Treasury secretary will warn Europe that it risks a “lost decade”, in an unusually blunt attack on the economic policies of America’s biggest ally.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s G20 summit in Brisbane, Jack Lew will say Europe has failed to restore healthy growth and risks falling into a deeper slump, according to excerpts of remarks to the World Affairs Council in Seattle.
The sharp public critique reflects deep US frustration that it is again expected to be the main engine for global growth as misfiring economies around the world lean on US consumers as a source of demand.
“In short, status quo policies in Europe have not achieved our common G20 objective of strong, sustainable and balanced growth,” said Mr Lew. “The ECB has taken forceful steps to support the economy through accommodative monetary policy. But . . . this alone has not proven sufficient to restore healthy growth.”
He added: “Resolute action by national authorities and other European bodies is needed to reduce the risk that the region could fall into a deeper slump. The world cannot afford a European lost decade.”