The turbulence in financial markets did not come about against a backdrop of economic weakness. Indeed, over the past number of years, the global economy has shown remarkable strength. We were also seeing encouraging signs of growth being spread more evenly.
We have seen a remarkable continuation of robust global growth, fuelled by increases in international trade and facilitated by the continuing evolution and expansion of capital markets. Domestic demand began to grow more strongly in Europe and Asia and to slow in the United States, and this began to ease some of the concerns related to global imbalances that I spoke about during my last visit.