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Central bankers are heroes: OECD’s Gurria

"Super" Mario Draghi's nickname is very much justified, according to Angel Gurria, the secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), who has called on governments to do more to tackle the global growth slowdown.

"Central bankers have been the heroes of this story since this financial and economic crisis hit in 2008, but the problem is they have run out of room. It's time for the governments," Gurria told CNBC Friday.


The most influential central banks in the Western world, the U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank (of which Draghi is president) and the Bank of England, have been running ultra-low interest rates and quantitative easing programs for years in some cases, to try and handle the fallout from the credit crisis.

With the Fed likely to become the first to signal a return to more normal monetary policy by raising rates, potentially as early as December, Gurria gave the central bank his blessing – although he said it should have started sooner.


On Monday, the OECD cut its forecast for global growth to around 2.9 percent this year – well below its long-term average – citing a further sharp downturn in emerging market economies and world trade.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary General Angel Gurria.
Adam Berry | Getty Images
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretary General Angel Gurria.

Gurria, who was speaking at the G-20 summit of the heads of the world's largest advanced and emerging economies, said: "The issue is about getting growth and trade back. It's very ominous that trade is growing at about 2 percent when the world economy is growing at 2.9 percent. There's only five years in the last 50 at which trade has grown at a rate lower than the world GDP (gross domestic product) and there has always been a recession following that."

"We've got to get all cylinders of the growth engine firing again. There is no room for complacency," he added.