AAA  Apr. 21, 2017 1:01 PM ET
The Latest: Federal Reserve official optimistic on economy
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International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde arrives for the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition Second High Level Assembly at the 2017 World Bank Group Spring Meetings in Washington, Thursday, April 20, 2017. The leaders of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank begin their spring meetings with the mission of strengthening a gradually improving global economy while facing resistance to free trade and political unrest in some countries. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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(AP) — The Latest on global finance meetings (all times local):

1 p.m.

The No. 2 official at the Federal Reserve says he agrees with the assessment of the International Monetary Fund that the global economy's prospects are looking up.

Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said in a CNBC interview that part of the optimism stems from China's economy doing better. Also, worst fears about what could happen in Europe after Britain voted to leave the European Union last summer did not materialize.

While the U.S. economy will likely be slow in the January-March period, Fischer said things should rebound in coming months. As far as future Fed rate increases, Fischer said that so far he hasn't seen anything to change the expectations of two more rate hikes this year. The Fed last raised rates in March.

Fischer, who was formerly a top official at the IMF, was interviewed on the sidelines of the finance meetings on Friday.


11:50 a.m.

Anti-poverty activists are complaining that the World Bank needs to expand its definition of poverty so that more needy people around the world can be helped.

They've come to the spring meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to protest. Countries need an annual income of $1,026 per person to be middle-income in the World Bank's eyes. That's less than $3 a day. Anti-poverty groups want the threshold raised to $10 a day.

Terri Ford of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation says that 75 percent of the world's poor and the majority of people living with HIV/AIDS reside in countries which the World Bank currently classifies as some bracket of middle-income.

Activists say these countries can be denied aid when not put in the low-income category.


3 a.m.

World finance leaders say they will seek to build support for free trade by finding ways to help those left behind by globalization.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim says he is "very much aware" that people who haven't benefited from globalization are angry about it.

Kim is among the world leaders in finance gathering in Washington for three days of meetings. The 189 countries represented are members of the International Monetary Fund and its sister lending organization, the World Bank.

The IMF's managing director, Christine Lagarde, notes that the global economy is expanding at a healthier clip but says global growth must be more inclusive.

As an example, she suggests offering the unemployed training and financial help to move closer to jobs.

Associated Press
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