Posted on May 7, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Shekhar Aiyar, Bergljot Barkbu, and Andreas (Andy) Jobst
If financing is the lifeblood of European small businesses, then the effect of the financial crisis was similar to a cardiac arrest. The flow of affordable credit from banks was choked off and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) were hit hardest. Today, with bank lending still recovering from that shock, smart policy actions could open up securitization as a source of financing to help small businesses start up, flourish and grow.
SMEs are vital to the European economy. They account for 99 out of every 100 businesses, two in every three employees, and 58 cents of each euro of value added of the business sector in Europe. Improving access to finance would therefore not only revive small businesses, but also support a strong and lasting recovery for Europe as a whole.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Europe, Finance, Globalization, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Reform | Tagged: bank lending, bond markets, capital markets, credit, EU, Europe, France, Germany, infrastructure, Italy, private investment, Securitization, small and medium-sized enterprises, Spain | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 6, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Alexander Klemm
(Versions in Español and Português)
Latin America is heading for tougher times. Regional growth is expected to dip below 1 percent in 2015, partly as a result of the drop in global commodity prices. How well placed is the region for the coming lean times?
Countries face this slowdown from much weaker fiscal positions than when the global financial crisis hit. Then, Latin America responded strongly with expansionary fiscal policies, including explicit fiscal stimulus programs in many countries. But, as growth has recovered, this increase in spending has proved difficult to reverse.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Reform | Tagged: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, commodiity prices, fiscal policy, infrastructure, Latin America, Mexico, Peru, public debt, public spending, trade, Uruguay | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 5, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Reinout De Bock, Andrea Maechler, and Nobuyasu Sugimoto
(Versions in Français and deutsch)
Low interest rates in the euro area pose substantial challenges to the life insurance industry. Insurers—particularly in Germany and Sweden—offer their clients long-term policies, sometimes more than 30 years, without holding assets of a correspondingly long duration. Moreover, many policies contain generous return guarantees, which are unsustainable in today’s low interest rate environment.
In 2014, stress tests showed European life insurers are vulnerable to a “Japanese-like” scenario.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Europe, Finance, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Multilateral Cooperation, Reform | Tagged: Europe, European Union, Germany, interest rates, Japan, Life insurance, pension, stress tests, Sweden, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 4, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Ratna Sahay, Martin Čihák, and Papa N’Diaye
The world still lives in the shadow of the global financial crisis that began in the United States in 2008. The U.S. experience shone a spotlight on the dangers of financial systems that have grown exponentially and beyond traditional banks. It triggered a rethinking of the extent and speed of the expansion of a country’s financial sector, and raised questions about which policies promote a safe financial system.
In our new study, we emphasize that the most commonly used indicator—bank credit—is not sufficient to measure the size and scope of a country’s financial development. We create a comprehensive index for over 170 countries to answer several policy questions from the perspective of emerging markets.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Europe, Finance, growth | Tagged: capital markets, Ecuador, emerging market, financial deepening, financial development, financial markets, financial stability, Gambia, growth, Ireland, Japan, liquidity, Morocco, Poland, U.S., United Kingdom, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 30, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Will Kerry and Jean Portier
A year ago our research showed Europe had an €800 billion stock of bad loans. In our latest Global Financial Stability Report we show that the problem has now grown to more than €900 billion. This stock of nonperforming loans is concentrated in the hardest hit economies, with two-thirds located in just six euro area economies. The European Central Bank’s Asset Quality Review confirmed this picture, which revealed that the majority of banks in many of these economies had high levels of nonperforming assets (see chart 1).
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Europe, Financial Crisis, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment | Tagged: bank lending, debt overhang, euro area, European Central Bank, GFSR, Global Financial Stability Report, inflation, interest rates, liquidity, nonperforming loans | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 29, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Jonathan D. Ostry, Atish R. Ghosh, and Mahvash S. Qureshi
There has been a remarkable increase in financial flows to frontier economies from private sources which, in relation to their economic size, are now on par with those to emerging economies (see chart).
Filed under: Africa, Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: Bangladesh, Brazil, BRICs, capital flows, central bank, China, emerging market, frontier economies, Ghana, India, inflation, interest rates, monetary policy, Russia, U.S. interest rates, Uganda, Zambia | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 28, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Ravi Balakrishnan and Juan Solé
(Version in Español)
Last month’s report on U.S. jobs was disappointing, with far fewer jobs than expected added in March. A longer-term look at trends yields a different picture, however. Over the past year, U.S. job creation has been impressive. Payroll gains have averaged 260,000 per month—well above the 160,000 monthly average seen throughout the 2010–13 recovery.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Employment, Financial Crisis, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, unemployment | Tagged: Great Recession, human capital, immigration, job creation, labor force, Macroeconomic policies, reform, U.S., U.S. Fed, unemployment, United States | Leave a comment »