Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said Friday that the contraction in the global economy might have eased and some financial markets were showing signs of improvement.
"Without underestimating the challenges we see, there are signs that the pace of deterioration in economic activity and trade flows has eased," Geithner said after a meeting of Group of 7 finance ministers and central bankers in Washington. "We are right to be somewhat encouraged, but we would be wrong to conclude that we are close to emerging from the darkness that descended on the global economy last fall."
The strength of the U.S. economy is tied to economic growth and financial recovery around the world, Geithner said. He also said the U.S. wanted the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to adapt so they could be more responsive to changing conditions.
The G-7 ministers steered clear of U.S. regulators' assessments of whether financial companies have enough capital, Geithner said. Information was provided Friday to the 19 big banks that went through "stress tests"; a public announcement is set for May 4.
The finance ministers "did not discuss the preliminary results," Geithner said. "All we did was take stock of our efforts in the United States and in other countries to help make sure there is enough capital in our financial system."