Germany closer to right balance on growth: U.S.'s Lew

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 08, 2014 1:40 PM
Germany closer to right balance on growth: U.S.'s Lew

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is moving in the right direction in striking a balance between economic growth and fiscal consolidation but should continue to look for ways to spur domestic demand, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Wednesday.

"Over the course of this past year, I think we've seen very constructive movement to get the balance right between fiscal consolidation and growth," he said in a joint news conference with his German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble.

"We can continue to discuss where that balance should be but it has moved in the right direction from our perspective over the year," he said, pointing to German plans to introduce a minimum wage and boost investments in infrastructure.

Still, Lew echoed the message that he gave during his last visit in April 2013, saying it was important for countries like Germany, which run large current account surpluses, to take further steps to promote growth in order for Europe and the global economy to rebalance and recover.

"We have made very clear that we think that more domestic demand and investment would be a good thing," he said. "We continue to believe that policies that promote domestic demand would be good for the German economy."

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Writing by Annika Breidthardt; Editing by Noah Barkin)