G7 to meet amid fading hopes of joint action on economy

TOKYO, Feb 5, 2008 (AFP) – Slumping global stock markets and fears of a US recession are set to dominate a weekend meeting here of the world’s top finance chiefs, but analysts see little chance of any coordinated action. Although the fallout from the US subprime loan woes is spreading around the world, with the global economy facing its gloomiest outlook for years, world powers have so far largely left it to the United States to tackle the crisis.

Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of Seven leading economies are unlikely to offer much more than words of reassurance when they gather in Tokyo on Saturday for a one-day meeting, analysts said.

“The (subprime) problem is still widely seen as a US problem and therefore the measures need to be focused on the US economy,” said Tim Condon, research head at ING Financial Markets in Singapore.

Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga has indicated the US economy is likely to be the focus of the meeting of finance chiefs from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States.

“We’d like to discuss the US economic policy and the current status of the US economy in a candid manner,” he told reporters on Friday.

The wo