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Great 8: High OIl Prices Cause Golbal Imbalance

Finance ministers from the world's wealthiest countries warned on Saturday of the risks that high energy prices and global imbalances could pose to economic growth

Finance ministers from the world's wealthiest countries warned on Saturday of the risks that high energy prices and global imbalances could pose to economic growth although they appeared optimistic about global growth.

The discussion here among the financial chiefs of the Group of Eight (G8) major economic powers centered on global growth prospects and energy security and was seen as adding finishing touches to preparations for a summit of G8 leaders in mid-July.

"Global growth remains strong and is gradually becoming more broadly based. However, downside risks from high and volatile energy prices and widening global imbalances remain," the ministers said in a statement at the end of their two-day meeting.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, speaking at a press conference after the meeting, said the global economy has enjoyed high growth, historically low inflation and interest rates and been spared of major financial crisis or recession in the past three years.

"It is especially significant that we are seeing more rapid levels of growth in the developing economies," Snow said.

The ministers agreed on the importance for global growth of "an ambitious outcome" from the Doha round of trade talks, the statement said.