Posted on January 21, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Alejandro Werner
(version in Español and Português)
The turn of the year usually brings a fresh dose of optimism. Yet, worries dominate across much of Latin America and the Caribbean today, as 2015 marks yet another year of reduced growth expectations. Regional growth is projected at just 1¼ percent, about the same low rate as in 2014 and almost 1 percentage point below our previous forecast. Challenging external conditions are an important drag for many countries. Still, it’s not too late for some good New Year’s resolutions to address domestic weaknesses and improve growth prospects.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Reform | Tagged: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, Chile, China, Colombia, commodi, Ecuador, energy subsidies, euro area, forecast, Japan, Latin America, Mexico, oil, Peru, poverty reduction, Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere, South America, U.S., Venezuela | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 21, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Benedict Clements, Sanjeev Gupta, and Masahiro Nozaki
(Versions in 中文, Français, 日本語, Русский, and Español)
Improvements in health can have a tremendously positive effect on society’s well-being and the level of economic activity. Indeed, 2013’s path-breaking report by the Lancet Commission indicates that about 11 percent of the economic growth in recent decades can be attributed to these improvements. As such, it makes good sense for macroeconomists to pay attention to health indicators and to the factors that influence them, such as public health spending.
In this context, it is not surprising that the impact of IMF-supported programs on public health spending has generated considerable attention. Previous research, focusing on periods before the global financial crisis, indicates that Fund-supported programs have a positive effect on public health spending (Martin and Segura, 2004; Center for Global Development, 2007; Clements, Gupta and Nozaki, 2013). But does this pattern still hold if we extend the analysis to more recent years? In this blog, we take a fresh look at this evidence for developing economies.
Filed under: Africa, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Global Governance, Globalization, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics, Reform | Tagged: Africa, ebola, health care, health spending, Liberia, public health spending, Sierra Leone, Sub-Saharan Africa, tax reform | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 16, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Min Zhu
(version in Español)
The growth story for frontier economies isn’t the same as China’s in the last two decades, or the United States a hundred years ago. These fast growing, low-income countries have their own story, and it’s not what you might think.
In May of this year, I wrote about who they are and how they are different, and now I want to go into a bit more detail about how their economies have been on the rise and how they have moved themselves to the frontier.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Economic outlook, Economic research, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, LICs, Low-income countries, Reform | Tagged: agriculture, Bangladesh, capital markets, China, commodiity prices, diversify growth, fiscal policy, frontier economies, low-income countries, manufacturing, Min Zhu, monetary policy, Mozambique, natural resources, oil prices, Tanzania, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 15, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Gregorio Impavido and Uffe Mikkelsen
(Version in Türk)
Turkey is going through a time of economic transition, with slowing growth that risks the country being caught in a “middle-income trap,” unable to join the ranks of high income economies.
The country grew at 6 percent per year on average in the period 2010-13, with policies supportive of domestic consumption. This has generated a large current account deficit, mostly financed by short-term capital flows. The reliance on consumption at the expense of investment, slow export growth, and sizable investment needs have hurt potential growth, with the economy already growing more modestly. Moreover, Turkey’s low domestic savings and competitiveness challenges have limited investment as well as exports, which have also suffered from the slow growth in Europe.
With current policies, Turkey’s economy is expected to grow only 3.5 percent annually over the next five years. Going forward, the economy must be rebalanced to make it more competitive and to restore output and employment growth.
Filed under: Economic outlook, Economic research, Employment, Europe, Finance, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Public debt, Reform | Tagged: Article IV, banking sector, economic rebalancing, Europe, fiscal policy, inflation, Macroeconomic policies, middle income countries, savings, Turkey | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 2, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Christine Lagarde
(Versions in Español and Português)
I am looking forward to being in Peru this week to discuss economic and social developments with the government and a wide range of stakeholders—and also to follow up on the preparations for the next IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings, which will be held in Lima in October 2015. Later this week, I will participate in the Santiago Conference in Chile, where I will meet policymakers and influential representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss economic approaches to strengthen the entire region.
As I travel to the land of the Andes, I am reminded of the natural beauty of the region, the richness of its culture, and its incredible diversity. Despite its current challenges—growth continues to slow, as global economic and financial conditions are shifting and economies run up against capacity limits—I remain decidedly optimistic about the region’s potential to raise living standards while protecting its unique heritage and precious environment.
Filed under: Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Español, Finance, Fiscal policy, Globalization, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Reform | Tagged: Caribbean, Chile, Christine Lagarde, commodiity prices, conference, education, health care, inequality, infrastructure, Latin America, Peru, poverty, youth | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 26, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard, Luc Laeven, and Esteban Vesperoni
The last five years have been a reminder of the importance of interconnections and risks in the global economy. They have triggered intense discussions on the optimal way to combine fiscal, monetary, and financial policies to deal with spillovers, and on the need and the scope for coordination of such policies.
The IMF’s 15th Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference, which took place in Washington DC on November 13 and 14, 2014, focused on Cross-Border Spillovers, and took stock of what we know and do not know. The summary below picks and chooses some papers, and does not do justice to the full set of papers presented and discussed at the conference. They can all be downloaded, and videos of each session are available, at www.imf.org/external/np/res/seminars/2014/arc.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Europe, Finance, Financial Crisis, Fiscal, Fiscal policy, G-20, Globalization, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Politics | Tagged: banks, capital flows, European Central Bank, exchange rate, Federal Reserve, fiscal policy, G-20, global economy, global trade, IMF Annual Research Conference, Italy, monetary policy, Olivier Blanchard, public spending, Spain, spillovers, unconventional monetary policy, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 24, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Sean Hagan
(version in Español)
To restructure or not to restructure? That is a question few governments would like to face. Yet, if a country does find itself with an unsustainable debt burden, one way or another, it will have to be restructured. And if that time comes, it is better for the debtor, creditors, and the entire financial system that the restructuring be carried out in a prompt, predictable, and orderly manner.
The global financial crisis ushered in a new wave of sovereign debt crises that has reinvigorated discussions over the current framework for sovereign debt restructuring. The experience with Greece’s debt restructuring in 2012 and the ongoing litigation involving Argentina, in particular, provide a salutary reminder that vulnerabilities remain.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic research, Europe, Finance, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, Latin America, Public debt, Reform | Tagged: Argentina, bonds, debt restructuring, financial restructuring, government debt, Greece, Kazakhstan, Mexico, sovereign debt, U.S. Treasury, Vietnam | Leave a comment »