The world's monetary authorities announced today they would accelerate efforts to recycle huge dollar holdings by OPEC countries to poor deficit nations, in hopes of easing growing imbalances between the oil-producing and oil-consuming states.

At the same time, the officials themselves failed, as forecast, to reach agreement on a scheme that would have helped mop up enormous amounts of surplus dollars circulating outside the United States that are part of the reason for the instability in today's international monetary system.

The lack of visible progress in this area -- or even any indication of when a concrete result might be achieved -- appeared to leave the world in a stall in the flight toward monetary reform.

A meeting of the International Monetary Fund's policy board ended in a flurry of proposed studies and reports that did little to bolster hope for significant change.

Officials sought to dispel the climate of disappointment that unavoidably was present. "Meetings like this that don't generate front-page headlines may contribute enormously to economic stability," mused U.S. Treasury Secretary G. William Miller in a talk with reporters. "The absence of lightening bolts shows more harmony in the community of nations."

But it seemed more the persistence of a disharmony of political interests -- together with the highly complicated nature of some of the new monetary arrangements under discussion -- that again stymied the enactment of major reform.

The essential assignment confronting the financial chiefs is to invent new facilities and schemes to handle the enormouse amount of dollars in the hands of OPEC nations and relieve the mounting pressure on Third World economies.

The IMF's depressing economic outlook shows the industrialized countries as a group facing the prospect of no better than a 1.4 percent real growth rate, stubbornly high inflation and a combined deficit this year of $47.5 billion. The picture for the developing countries is even gloomier.

With imbalances between rich and poor nations already proving larger than monetary authorities had predicted last year, officials here concentrated on means of restoring some equilibrium.

The IMF's Interim Committee authorized the fund to start discussions with the OPEC countries on ways of borrowing from them to increase IMF resources available to needy countries.

While the committee in its final communique said that the funds' resources are currently adequate, it indicated the need for an increase may arise, possibly as early as next year, acording to officials here.

The committee also stressed the need for additional development assistance for low-income countries most seriously affected by the current situation.It ordered the funds' managers to examine closely the program put forth by the Group of 24 this week representing the world's more than 100 developing countries.

With imbalances between rich and poor nations already proving larger than monetary authorities had predicted last year, officials here concentrated on means of restoring some equilibrium.

The IMF's Interim Committee authorized the fund to start discussions with the OPEC countries on ways of borrowing from them to increase IMF resources available to needy countries.

While the committee in its final communique said that the funds' resources are currently adequate, it indicated the need for an increase may arise, possibly as early as next year, according to officials here.

The committee also stressed the need for additional development assistance for low-income countries most seriously affected by the current situation. It ordered the funds' managers to examine closely the program put forth by the Group of 24 this week representing the world's more than 100 developing countries.

The committee took no action to extend auctions if IMF gold holdings which end next month. Profits from these auctions had gone to poor nations which this week urged the fund to continue the program.

But the greatest shortcoming of the meeting was the lack of final agreement on the so-called dollar substitution account, which had been endorsed by monetary authorities at their meeting last autumn in Belgrade and, for a time, was expected to get its final blessing here.

Under this scheme, central bankers would be able to deposit their wealth of dollar holdings with IMF and receive in return special drawing rights -- a sort of artificial money invented by the IMF and based on a weighted value of other currencies plus gold.

Miller sought to deflect the criticism lodged against the United States for failing to take on the requisite burden to guarantee the account.

"We are ready to take on a fair share of the burden," the Treasury Secretary told reporters. He said the obstacles lie in a lack of definition about which countries would be depositors in the account and how precisely to maintain the value of the account against fluctuations in the value of the dollar.

"The definition of the concept has been advanced," he said but offered no firm estimate of when the remaining difficulties might be resolved.