Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew will urge European officials next week to pursue policies that boost economic growth, avoid deflation and strengthen the banking system, a Treasury official said today.
Euro-area domestic demand remains below its 2009 level when measured in real terms, and the unemployment rate is the highest in at least 20 years, the official, speaking on condition of not being further identified, told reporters on a conference call. Lew departs Jan. 6 on his fourth visit to Europe since he took office in February 2013.
Lew is scheduled to meet with French President Francois Hollande and Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici on Jan. 7. On Jan. 8 he will meet with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in Berlin before traveling to Lisbon later that day for talks with Portuguese government officials.
The official said Lew will urge Germany to boost domestic demand and call on France to support economic growth, while praising Portugal for progress in implementing its rescue program. The Treasury secretary will also seek further progress on banking unity, including recapitalization capacity and credible deposit insurance, and will emphasize the need for increased lending in the region, according to the official.
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