Early signs of consensus at G-8 summit

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The leaders of the Group of Eight world economic powers have taken the first steps toward a "broad consensus" on the need to balance growth with shrinking deficits, a senior White House official said Friday.

President Obama attended a luncheon at the G-8 summit in Toronto to discuss economic policies with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom, according to the official.

The official acknowledged that there were different "points of emphasis" among the leaders at the meeting, which is in its early stages. But he said there is a "convergence of views" and that the president is "confident" about the upcoming meetings of the Group of 20 nations, which includes China, India and other developing economic powers.

"There is broad consensus among G-8 leaders on how to maintain durable growth while reaffirming our shared commitment to fiscal consolidation going forward," the official said.

President Obama has stressed the need to keep economic stimulus measures in place to prevent a global slowdown. But European nations have been moving toward more conservative fiscal policies as the region grapples with an ongoing debt crisis.

In a letter to G-20 leaders sent earlier this week, the president wrote that safeguarding and strengthening the economic recovery should be "our highest priority in Toronto."

"This means that we should reaffirm our unity of purpose to provide the policy support necessary to keep economic growth strong," he wrote. "In fact, should confidence in the strength of our recoveries diminish, we should be prepared to respond again as quickly and as forcefully as needed to avert a slowdown in economic activity."

Meanwhile, European nations have been cutting back on public spending and raising taxes to cope with massive budget deficits. The euro has been in a tailspin as investors bet against the proposed austerity measures and worry the European Union could slide back into recession.

On Tuesday, the United Kingdom unveiled one of its harshest budgets in decades. The five-year budget, widely anticipated by fiscal experts, may hold lessons for U.S. policymakers who will face similar quandaries about how to rein in debt.

"The president sees deficit reduction as part of a long-term growth strategy," the White House official said. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.79%3.82%
15 yr fixed3.02%3.02%
5/1 ARM3.14%3.13%
30 yr refi3.87%3.90%
15 yr refi3.11%3.11%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,776.12 -200.19 -1.11%
Nasdaq 4,900.89 -46.55 -0.94%
S&P 500 2,067.89 -18.35 -0.88%
Treasuries 1.93 -0.03 -1.48%
Data as of 8:16pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.39 -0.13 -0.84%
Apple Inc 124.43 -1.94 -1.54%
General Electric Co 24.81 -0.31 -1.23%
Microsoft Corp 40.66 -0.30 -0.74%
Intel Corp 31.27 -0.19 -0.60%
Data as of 4:04pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon asked the govenor of Arkansas to veto a religious freedom law similar to the one adopted by Indiana last week. More

The dollar's rapid rally is hurting many emerging market nations. Investors are getting out of dodge. More

Amazon's new Dash button lets users program products to buy with the click of a literal button. More

Low-income families plan to spend more than 5% of their income on prom this year, according to a new survey from Visa. More