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US Treasury's Lew calls for further steps to modernize IMF

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Tyrone Siu | Reuters

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said on Monday the United States and other nations must work together to further revamp the International Monetary Fund, allowing it to focus more on exchange rates, current account imbalances and global demand shortfalls.

"We must work with our partners to further modernize the IMF, allowing it to intensify scrutiny of critical issues like exchange rates, current account imbalances, and shortfalls in global aggregate demand," Lew said in a speech before the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington.

The IMF should also promote greater transparency among its member countries "when it comes to economic data, especially as it relates to foreign reserves," he said.

The IMF is expected to cut its global growth forecasts this week when government officials, central bankers and other policymakers converge in Washington for the IMF and World Bank's annual spring meetings.

The United States is the largest shareholder at both global institutions.

The U.S. Congress ratified reforms in December, after five years of delays, boosting the representation of emerging economies at the IMF. It put Brazil, China, India and Russia among the IMF's top 10 shareholders.