Posted on April 28, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Anoop Singh
(Version in 中文, 日本語 and 한국어)
As the economic recovery has matured across much of Asia, the region has continued to be a driving force in the strengthening global recovery. Yet, recent tragic events—around the globe, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan—are an all too poignant reminder of the fragility of our economic circumstances and, indeed, life.
Much of this weighs on my mind as I am here in Hong Kong to launch our April 2011 Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific. While the outlook is by no means gloomy, it is an opportune time to consider how Asia should manage the next phase of growth. Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: capital inflows, commodity prices, domestic demand, economic growth, economic recovery, exports, financial risk, fiscal consolidation, global imbalances, global recovery, Macroeconomic policies, overheating, poverty, Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, unemployment | Comments Off
Posted on April 26, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Benedict Clements
We all hope to retire one day. Our pensions hold the promise of that.
But when that promise is a public pension, it’s also a lot like debt the government has to pay at some point in the future.
Good fiscal policy means thinking about how policy decisions—especially ones that involve long-term promises, such as pensions—affect government finances both today and in the future.
The first problem is that good fiscal policy hasn’t always ruled the day, to put it mildly. Today, pension reform is a priority for the advanced economies as current trends are unsustainable—see Commandment V—and for many emerging and low-income economies that need “to improve coverage of health and pension systems in a fiscally sound manner.” Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Emerging Markets, Fiscal policy, International Monetary Fund, Public debt | Tagged: fiscal indicators, fiscal policy, fiscal sustainability, government deficits, pension liabilities, pension reform, pension-adjusted budget balance, pensions, public debt | 7 Comments »
Posted on April 22, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Carlo Cottarelli
You hear a lot these days—not least from me—about the fiscal problems of advanced economies. But let’s not forget the fiscal problems that low-income countries face, though they are of a different kind.
For all too many low-income countries, government tax revenues are far from enough to meet the needs of their people. Some have made good progress, and this helped them weather the crisis better than many advanced economies—but there is an underlying, quiet crisis of inadequately resourced governments. Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Fiscal policy, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Low-income countries | Tagged: corruption, domestic tax revenues, efficiency, equity, fairness, governance, Millennium Development Goals, political will, poverty reduction, preferrential tax treatment, tax administration, tax evasion, tax exemptions, tax policy | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 21, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Leslie Lipschitz and Bas Bakker
For all the talk today about capital flows into emerging economies, the topic has actually been debated for many years within the IMF.
For a decade or more, we have grappled with the idea that very large capital flows into successful emerging market countries were almost inevitable and would prove extremely difficult to manage.
And now, with capital flows becoming larger and more volatile, old policy dilemmas are resurfacing with even greater force.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Europe, Financial Crisis, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: asset price bubbles, capital flows, credit growth, current account deficits, exchange rate, exchange rate flexibility, exchange rate regimes, external vulnerability, fixed exchange rates, foreign currency exposure, foreign exchange risk, interest rates, investment, macroprudential policies, monetary policy, rates of return, risk premiums | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 21, 2011 by iMFdirect
Finance ministers and central bank governors from around the world, gathering at the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington last week, identified a slew of continued and emerging risks to the global economy, including higher food and fuel prices, the disaster in Japan, unrest in the Middle East, lingering unemployment in parts of the world, and the risk of overheating in some dynamic emerging markets.
With the recovery solidifying but still fragile, ministers put the spotlight on how to strengthen the IMF’s surveillance—its economic assessment and analysis—to help countries take the action needed to address risks and avoid future crises. Continue reading
Filed under: Annual Meetings, Economic Crisis, Financial Crisis, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: commodity prices, G-20, global financial crisis, IMF surveillance, IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, International Monetary and Financial Committee, multilateral surveillance, overheating, risks, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, unemployment | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 14, 2011 by iMFdirect
With global challenges that require global solutions—the theme of the meetings—IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn reminds us that this is “not the time for complacency.”
Government ministers and officials, members of civil society organizations, journalists, and others are flocking to Washington DC this week to discuss and decide on key issues facing the global economy. Continue reading
Filed under: Annual Meetings, Civil Society, Economic outlook, Employment, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Multilateral Cooperation | Tagged: capital controls, cooperation, Fiscal Monitor, Global Challenges Global Solutions, global economy, Global Financial Stability Report, global financial system, global imbalances, Globalization, IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, inequality, international monetary system, policy coordination, unemployment, World Economic Outlook | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 13, 2011 by iMFdirect
By José Viñals
In various guises, the “Year of Living Dangerously” has been used to describe the global financial crisis, the policy response to the crisis, and its aftermath.
But, we’ve slipped well beyond a year and the financial system is still flirting with danger. Durable financial stability has, so far, proven elusive.
Financial stability risks may have eased, reflecting improvements in the economic outlook and continuing accommodative policies. But those supportive policies—while necessary to restart the economy—have also masked serious, underlying financial vulnerabilities that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, Financial regulation, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: asset quality, balance sheets, bank credit, bank restructuring, banking system, capital buffers, capital controls, capital inflows, debt sustainability, financial imbalances, financial sector risk, financial stability, global financial crisis, Global Financial Stability Report, government debt, household indebtedness, macroprudential policies, medium-term fiscal consolidation, overheating, sovereign funding | 5 Comments »
Posted on April 12, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Carlo Cottarelli
Undertaking a sizable fiscal adjustment is a lot like driving up a tall mountain: it’s hard work, it can take a long time, and you don’t want to run out of fuel partway up the incline. Countries are starting the climb, cutting back government deficits and debt levels, but according to our analysis often current plans aren’t enough to get countries where they need and want to go.
The plans in place are large by historical standards, which brings with it difficult choices, and particular risks and uncertainties. Let me fill you in on what these are. Continue reading
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Fiscal policy, International Monetary Fund, Public debt | Tagged: bank recapitalization, cyclically adjusted balance, debt sustainability, fiscal adjustment, fiscal consolidation, Fiscal Monitor, fiscal sustainability, government debt, interest rate-growth differential, medium-term fiscal consolidation, primary budget balance, public debt, sovereign risks | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 11, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard
The world economic recovery is gaining strength, but it remains unbalanced.
Three numbers tell the story. We expect the world economy to grow at about 4.5 percent a year in both 2011 and 2012, but with advanced economies growing at only 2.5 percent, while emerging and developing economies grow at a much higher 6.5 percent.
On the good news side. Earlier fears of a double dip—which we did not share—have not materialized. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: bank recapitalization, capital controls, capital inflows, commodity prices, economic recovery, exchange rate, Financial regulation, financial stability, financial supervision, fiscal consolidation, Fiscal Stimulus, fiscal sustainability, inflation expectations, inventory cycle, macroprudential policies, policy coordination, potential output, private demand, unemployment, World Economic Outlook | 8 Comments »