Posted on August 31, 2015 by iMFdirect
For a man who declared on his arrival at the IMF “I do not blog,” Olivier Blanchard, our soon-to-be former Chief Economist, is one hell of a blogger.
Prolific and popular. A demi-god: half economist, half artist. Blanchard writes the way he thinks: sharp, frank, and intellectual, while pushing against the edges of his métier with the creativity and honesty of a singular economist.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Europe, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, International Monetary Fund, Multilateral Cooperation | Tagged: Greece, IMF Annual Research Conference, IMF chief economist, jobs, Latvia, macroeconomic policy, oil prices, Olivier Blanchard | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 24, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Giovanni Ganelli and Naoko Miake
(Version in 日本語)
Take a walk in Tokyo, and you will see the sign スタッフ募集中, or “Staff Wanted”, outside many restaurants and convenience stores. These businesses often find it impossible to recruit the workers they need. According to recent statistics, for each job seeker in Japan applying to work as a waiter, there are more than three available positions. Home helpers and long-term caregivers are equally in demand. If you want to work as a security guard, you can choose from around five openings, and for some positions in the construction business the job-to-applicant ratio is over six.
Japan’s labor shortages are the result of both a shrinking population—which limits the overall pool of workers—and skill mismatches. The reduced supply of labor is one of the factors bringing down medium-term potential growth, which the International Monetary Fund estimates at just 0.6 percent. Labor market shortages are also bad for short-term growth, because they reduce the effectiveness of the monetary and fiscal stimulus that the authorities are using to try to boost demand.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Asia, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Reform, unemployment | Tagged: Abenomics, female labor participation, immigration, investment, Japan, jobs, labor market, women | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 19, 2015 by iMFdirect
By John Bluedorn, Anna Ilyina and Plamen Iossifov
All European Union members, except Denmark and the United Kingdom, are expected under EU treaties to eventually adopt the euro. Six Central and Eastern EU members – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania – are yet to do so.
In the meantime, these countries have a decision to make: Should they opt in to the Banking Union before adopting the euro? Such a move may offer greater insurance against shocks, but at a certain cost to policy flexibility. In a recent study, we explore some of the trade-offs that countries need to weigh.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Europe, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Public debt | Tagged: banking union, euro | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 10, 2015 by iMFdirect
Ever wonder to what extent Russia depends on oil revenues—and what happens to such an economy when crude prices fall by half? Or what the tangible effects are of sanctions when a country falls out of favor with its trading partners?
Well the IMF’s latest annual assessment of Russia’s economy shows cheap oil and sanctions together have helped drag the country into a recession.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Europe, Globalization, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: advanced economies, economic growth, Europe, global economy, oil prices, Russia | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 22, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Andre Meier and Fabiano Rodrigues Bastos
(Versions in Español and Português)
Latin America’s recent economic fortunes highlight the region’s closer economic ties with Asia. China, in particular, has grown into a crucial source of demand for Latin American commodities over the past two decades, providing significant gains to the region. The flip side is that the ongoing structural slowdown of Chinese investment is weighing considerably on the prices of those commodities, and the countries that export them.
But Asia can be much more than just a source of episodic windfall gains (and losses) for Latin America. Like a windmill, Asia could help to power a stronger Latin American economy—by providing an example of successful regional trade integration and through greater direct links across the Pacific that benefit both sides. However, securing these benefits will require clear and realistic objectives, a long-term strategy, and attention to the political and social implications of greater economic integration.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Finance, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Globalization, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America | Tagged: Asia, Brazil, Caribbean, Chile, China, foreign direct investment, India, international trade, investment, Japan, Korea, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, trade | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 20, 2015 by iMFdirect
By David Lipton
Why have businesses in advanced economies not been investing more in machinery, equipment and plants? Business investment is the largest component of private investment, and its weakness has puzzled many of us.
Some believe that the key to more business investment is less uncertainty about fiscal policy, regulation, and structural reforms. Some believe that it is providing better financing, including for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Public debt | Tagged: David Lipton, fiscal policy, infrastructure, investment, monetary policy, public investment, recession, World Economic Outlook | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 16, 2015 by iMFdirect
Remember when oil was the big story? Yeah, us too. And we’re still thinking through the issues and what they mean for oil importers and exporters, as well as the global economy.
This week IMF economists released a new paper, and we interviewed the lead author in this podcast, that delves into the benefits of lower oil prices for consumers and for the global economy.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Europe, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Middle East | Tagged: oil, oil exporters, oil importers | Leave a comment »