DRESDEN, Germany — Top finance officials from the Group of Seven wealthy democracies are debating ways to broaden and strengthen economic recoveries that aren't as robust as everyone would like.
Finance ministers and central banks traded ideas on growth-boosting reforms and discussed financial markets and monetary policy.
Officials said the discussions in Dresden, Germany, were marked by concern over growth that is uneven and below long-term averages.
Both the U.S. and Europe are growing. But unemployment remains high in the 19-country eurozone, and stock and bond markets have been volatile, although they remain at high levels.
Officials including Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and host Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble discussed the recent sharp rise in yields on bonds. Officials said the general sense was the recent market ups and downs were due to the fact that bond yields had fallen to extreme low levels — below zero in some cases.
Greece's effort to win more loan aid and avoid default on its debts has cast a shadow over the meeting, although it's not on the official agenda. Greece isn't a G-7 member, but three of its creditor countries — Germany, France, and Italy — are.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has pressed countries in good financial shape such as host Germany to do more to boost growth and investment. The stance has not found much resonance in Germany, which argues it must avoid adding new debt and has balanced its budget.
The meeting is a discussion forum that sets up final positions to be taken at a summit of presidents and prime ministers July 7-8 outside Munich.
The G-7 countries are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the U.S. The group, which traces its roots to a six-country meeting in France in 1975, is an informal forum among leading economies for discussions of economic and foreign policy issues. Germany has the rotating presidency for this year's meeting.