G20 ministers to set imbalances guidelines this week

PARIS (Reuters) - Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting in Washington later this week are expected to reach an agreement on guidelines to identify global economic imbalances, French government sources said on Tuesday.

It would be the next step following a hard-fought agreement at a G20 finance ministers' meeting in Paris in February to set out a list of economic indicators that can be used to measure imbalances.

Two sources close to French delegates who will attend talks on Friday between G20 finance ministers and central bankers told reporters the aim would be for G20 guidelines to be tougher for large, systemically important countries.

"We are going to agree on the guidelines which will allow us to use these indicators. On the basis of this methodology we will examine in a second phase the cause of the global imbalances," one of the sources said.

The talks will be held on the sidelines of the International Monetary Fund's spring meeting in Washington.

The guidelines will say that imbalances should be measured on a country-by-country basis using a combination of statistical data and economic theory to adjust for the circumstances of each nation, such as large commodities exporters, the source said.

The next stage would be to identify a number of countries or zones which are at the heart of the global imbalances, he added, but suggested this was unlikely to take place during this week's meeting.

A second source said there would be reinforced surveillance of those countries indentified as generating imbalances.

"We will demand more of the economies which are systemic than countries which are not systemic," he said.

The idea is to reach agreement on an action plan to be finalized at the last summit of France's G20 presidency, in the resort of Cannes in November, to rebalance the world economy and set it on track for balanced and sustainable growth.

(Reporting by Daniel Flynn and Yann Le Guernigou; Writing by Catherine Bremer; Editing by Catherine Evans)