Posted on August 27, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Jeff Hayden
Between 2004 and 2013, Latin America recorded impressive growth and strong progress on a range of social issues. High commodity prices combined with strengthened economic management and progressive social policies to propel the region forward.
This strength was all the more striking against the backdrop of the 2008–09 global financial crisis, which mired many advanced economies in recession but saw emerging markets, including many in Latin America, power ahead. This led some observers to dub the period the “Latin American decade.”
Now, as the world’s economic leaders prepare to gather in Lima, Peru, in October for the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the picture looks quite different.
Filed under: Annual Meetings, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Español, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Globalization, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America, Reform | Tagged: commodiity prices, corruption, F&D, Finance & Development. F&D, inequality, islamic finance, labor force, Latin America, trade | 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 3, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Antoinette M. Sayeh and Abebe Aemro Selassie
If, as has been observed, demography is destiny, this will be the African century.
Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa are on the cusp of a demographic transition—the years when the share of young and old in the population declines and those in working age range (15-64 years) increases.
Elsewhere, this transition has generally been accompanied by higher savings, incomes, and economic growth. Our latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa looks at how the transition might play out and the implications for economic policies.
Filed under: Africa, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, LICs, Low-income countries, Reform | Tagged: Africa, economic growth, emerging market, income, labor force, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 9, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard
(Versions in Deutsch, Español, Français, Italiano, ελληνικά, Русский, 中文, 日本語, عربي, and Português)
All eyes are on Greece, as the parties involved continue to strive for a lasting deal, spurring vigorous debate and some sharp criticisms, including of the IMF.
In this context, I thought some reflections on the main critiques could help clarify some key points of contention as well as shine a light on a possible way forward.
The main critiques, as I see them, fall under the following four categories:
- The 2010 program only served to raise debt and demanded excessive fiscal adjustment.
- The financing to Greece was used to repay foreign banks.
- Growth-killing structural reforms, together with fiscal austerity, have led to an economic depression.
- Creditors have learned nothing and keep repeating the same mistakes.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Debt Relief, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Employment, Europe, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Politics, Public debt | Tagged: austerity, debt, debt restructuring, debt sustainability, ECB, euro, euro area, fiscal adjustment, Greece, Olivier Blanchard, VAT | 8 Comments »
Posted on July 1, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Stefan Laseen, Andrea Pescatori, and Jarkko Turunen
Academics and policy-makers alike have long struggled with the question of whether to use monetary policy to dampen asset price booms – whether to “lean against the wind” or not. Can officials identify emerging asset price bubbles, what are the implications of bursting them, and is monetary policy the appropriate response to potential bubbles? These questions have become even more important to the policy debate in the wake of the global financial crisis, which was preceded by an unsustainable boom in sub-prime mortgage lending and housing prices.
Given over six years of near zero policy interest rates, should the U.S. Fed now use interest rates to lean against potential financial stability risks that may have built up?
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Employment, Finance, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics | Tagged: Federal Reserve, financial risks, financial stability, inflation, interest rates, investment, macroprudential policy, U.S., U.S. Fed, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 25, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Ali Alichi, Douglas Laxton, Jarkko Turunen, and Hou Wang
A few weeks ago, the Fund suggested that the Federal Reserve could defer its first increase in the policy rate until it sees greater signs of wage or price inflation, with a gradual increase in the federal funds rate thereafter. Such a monetary policy strategy could help avoid the “dark corners” in which, as Olivier Blanchard has argued, small shocks can have potentially large effects. In this blog and accompanying working paper, we expand upon this idea. We also outline the potential benefits of an expanded communications toolkit.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Employment, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Public debt | Tagged: Federal Reserve, global economic outlook, inflation, interest rates, jobs, U.S., U.S. Fed, U.S. interest rates, U.S. monetary policy, United States | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 15, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Era Dabla-Norris, Kalpana Kochhar, and Evridiki Tsounta
(Versions in Español, 中文 , 日本語, عربي,and Русский)
The gap between the rich and the poor is at its widest in decades in advanced countries, and inequality is also rising in major emerging markets (Chart 1). It is becoming increasingly clear that these developments have profound economic implications.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Low-income countries, Middle East, Reform | Tagged: education, health care, income inequality, inequality, labor market, Latin America, middle class, Middle East and North Africa, poor, rich and poor, Sub-Saharan Africa | 5 Comments »