UPDATE 1-Canada PM warns G20 against complacency on economy

Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:09pm EDT

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PITTSBURGH, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The early signs of economic recovery in the Group of 20 leading nations are fragile at best and this is no time to get complacent, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday.

Harper told leaders that the recovery was largely to due to stimulus spending and the G20, which comprises developed and emerging nations, needed to see an increase in job creation before it could start feeling comfortable.

"Although we are seeing signs of economic recovery the gains are fragile at best. We must stay the course. This is no time to be sinking into complacency," he told a news conference after the two-day G20 summit held in Pittsburgh.

"We've still got big work ahead of us, ... we're not out of the woods on the recession."

Canada, which was running a budget surplus before the recession and avoided major banking problems, has been less affected by the crisis than many leading nations.

Harper said he stressed to the G20 that members needed to continue implementing stimulus measures, although they should think about exit strategies.

Harper, a strong opponent of what he calls protectionist measures, also told G20 leaders that they should recognize international trade as a driver of global economic growth, a spokesman for the prime minister told reporters earlier. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Leslie Adler)