SYDNEY -- Finance chiefs from the 20 largest economies agreed Sunday to implement policies that will boost world GDP by more than $2 trillion over the coming five years.
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, who hosted the Group of 20 meeting in Sydney, said the commitment from the G-20 finance ministers and central bankers was "unprecedented."
The world economy has sputtered since the 2008 financial crisis and global recession that followed. Progress in returning economic growth to pre-crisis levels has been hampered by austerity policies in Europe, high unemployment in the U.S. and a cooling of China's torrid expansion.
The centerpiece of the $2 trillion commitment made at the Sydney meeting is to boost the combined gross domestic product of G-20 countries by 2% above the levels expected for the next five years, possibly creating tens of millions of jobs. World GDP was about $72 trillion in 2012.
The G-20 combines the world's major industrialized and developing countries, representing about 85 percent of the global economy.
The communique from the meeting said signs of improvement in the global economy are welcome, but growth remains below the rates needed to get people back into work and to meet their aspirations.
The G-20 said it would "significantly raise global growth" without overtaxing national finance, through measures to promote competition and increase investment, employment and trade.
As an initial step toward achieving the $2 trillion target, each country will present a comprehensive growth strategy to a summit of leaders scheduled for November in the Australian city of Brisbane.
The International Monetary Fund forecasts the world economy will grow 3.7% this year. It said the G-20 plan could lift annual world economic growth by half a percentage point for the next five years.