Finance is a vital ingredient of economic growth, but there can be too much of it. Over the past 50 years, credit by banks and other institutions to households and businesses has grown three times as fast as economic activity. At these levels, further expansion is likely to slow long-term growth and raise inequality.
Written statement by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría for the IMFC during the World Bank Group/International Monetary Fund 2015 Spring meetings in Washington, DC.
Small and medium-sized enterprises are crucial for tracing new paths to more sustainable and inclusive growth, thanks to their role in providing employment. In the OECD area, SMEs provide the main source of employment and value creation, accounting for about 60 to 70% of employment and more than 50% of value added.
Headline aid figures only tell part of the picture. While aid volumes have risen globally, poor countries are losing out. Between 2010 and 2012, assistance from DAC members to the Least Developed Countries fell by 12%. Meanwhile, aid to upper-middle income countries rose steadily. Shouldn’t this be the other way round?
Closing remarks made by the OECD Secretary-General during the Paris Club Forum, organised jointly by the Australian Presidency and the Paris Club.
APEC economies are faring relatively well and China continues to be a locomotive for the world economy, even at a lower cruising speed. However, even those that are currently doing well cannot be completely sheltered from the storm. It is critical that we get the engine of global growth up and running once again.
Six years into the crisis and a robust recovery is still distant. The global economy is continuing to expand at a moderate and uneven pace. International trade, global investment and credit are still hesitant. The threat of so-called ‘secular stagnation’ remains high, especially in Europe.
As a result of continued policy support and favourable financial conditions, global growth is expected to be somewhat more vigorous in the latter part of 2014 and into 2015. Nonetheless, the OECD’s recent Interim Assessment has revised growth projections downwards for most major economies as the recovery is turning out to be weaker than expected.
As the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approach their expiry date, we must focus our efforts on ensuring a brighter, more inclusive and sustainable future for all. We face a plethora of common issues: growing inequalities; changing consumption patterns and population dynamics; increasing natural resource scarcity; and ongoing illicit financial flows.
The results of this first-ever assessment are a true call for action. We need to step up our global and common efforts to better identify the financial literacy needs of 15-year-olds and explore ways to improve this essential life skill, warned OECD Secretary-General.