Global economy still reported as weak

G8 leaders say global economic prospects remain weak as Europe, Asia and the United States still try to recover from the worldwide recession.

After the first day of their annual summit in Northern Ireland Monday, the G8 said significant policy actions taken by the eurozone, U.S. and Japan have reduced the risk of an economic downturn.

The leaders said promoting growth and jobs remains their priority. They called the fight against long-term and youth unemployment critical.

Earlier Monday, the United States and European Union said they are starting talks on a new transatlantic free trade agreement. The first session is set for Washington next month.

The U.S. and 27-nation EU already account for nearly half of the global economy, with $1 trillion in annual trade. U.S. President Barack Obama said a new deal to cut tariffs and permit the free flow of business deals could be “potentially groundbreaking.”

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