Posted on December 4, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Christine Lagarde
Cambodia is the first leg of my Asia trip. This is a country that has already grown by leaps and bounds, and now stands at the frontier of becoming an emerging market economy in the heart of the most dynamic hub of the global economy.
I could feel this energy and excitement everywhere. Cambodians, especially young Cambodians, have big dreams and substantial societal aspirations. They want dignity and respect, so that they can fulfill their potential, both as individuals and as a nation. They want to embrace the wider world and all that it has to offer. They want good governance and strong institutions, which are essential to underpin economic development, empower people and ensure that prosperity is broadly shared.
I heard these themes consistently—from inspiring women leaders, from dynamic young economists, and from the students at the Royal School of Administration, where I gave a speech on how Cambodia can keep its forward momentum.
Filed under: Asia, Emerging Markets, Employment, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Politics | Tagged: cambodia, capacity building, Christine Lagarde, education, macroeconomic stability, women | Leave a comment »
Posted on November 6, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Michael Keen
(Version in Español, Français and 中文)
Last night, when you went to bed, you left $40 on the kitchen table. When you woke up this morning, you found only $30—and a note from the government saying, “Thank you very much, we took $10 as a tax payment.” This is, of course, extremely irritating. To an economist, however, it’s close to an ideal form of taxation, since there is nothing you can now do to reduce, avoid, or evade it—the holy grail of what economists call a non-distorting tax.
(This doesn’t mean that you won’t react in some way. Being worse off, you may now work a bit more, or save a bit less. But any other tax raising $1 would make you even worse off, because it would change relative prices (a tax on your earnings would make working less attractive, for instance), and so take your choices even further from those you would make in the absence of taxation.)
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Finance, Fiscal policy, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Politics, Public debt | Tagged: capital levy, debt, Fiscal Monitor, tax cuts, tax policy, taxation | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 2, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Erik Oppers
What’s up with weak credit? Five years into the economic crisis credit is still barely growing, and even declining in many advanced economies. Weak credit growth is a major factor holding back the economic recovery and governments have tried every policy they can come up with to jumpstart credit. Still, banks don’t seem to want to lend. Or is it the corporate sector and households that can’t afford to borrow? Many feel these policies are not working. What are policymakers to do?
Our analysis in the most recent Global Financial Stability Report tries to shed light on all this darkness to help countries figure out how to make these policies work. It turns out there is no cookie-cutter solution: the problem differs from country to country and changes over time. For example, in a number of euro area countries, a lackluster demand for loans limited credit growth early in the crisis, but then banks became reluctant to supply more loans as the crisis in Europe intensified in 2012.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Finance, Fiscal policy, growth, International Monetary Fund, Politics | Tagged: balance sheets, banks, credit, euro area, financial stability, GFSR, Global Financial Stability Report, lending | Leave a comment »
Posted on July 9, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard
Today we released our update of the World Economic Outlook.
The world economy remains in 3-speed mode. Emerging markets are still growing rapidly. The US recovery is steady. And much of Europe continues to struggle.
There is however a twist to the story. Growth almost everywhere is a bit weaker than we forecast in April, and the downward revision is particularly noticeable in emerging markets. After years of strong growth, the BRICS in particular are beginning to run into speed bumps. This means that the focus of policies will increasingly need to turn to boosting potential output growth or, in the case of China, to achieving more sustainable and balanced growth.
What the Numbers Show
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Europe, Finance, Financial Crisis, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Politics, recession | Tagged: China, euro zone, forecast, Japan, Olivier Blanchard, Russia, United States, WEO, World Economic Outlook | 3 Comments »
Posted on July 3, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Min Zhu
In the last two decades, countries have come a long way in shedding greater light on their public finances. The global economic crisis has reminded us, however, that we need to do more to ensure fiscal policymaking is based on reliable data on fiscal outcomes, credible forecasts of fiscal prospects, and a comprehensive assessment of fiscal risks. Working with civil society, governments, and others, the IMF has just presented a revised draft of its Fiscal Transparency Code, and we would like to know what you think of it so we can improve it further. You can comment here.
Filed under: Economic research, Emerging Markets, Finance, Financial Crisis, Financial regulation, Fiscal policy, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Politics, Public debt | Tagged: financial sector, fiscal policy, fiscal transparency, government, Greece, public finances | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 29, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard
(Versions in عربي, 中文, Français, Русский, and Español)
The IMF has just hosted a second conference devoted to rethinking macroeconomic policy in the wake of the crisis. After two days of fascinating presentations and discussions, I am certain of one thing: this is unlikely to be our last conference on the subject.
Rethinking and reforms are both taking place. But we still do not know the final destination, be it for the redefinition of monetary policy, or the contours of financial regulation, or the role of macroprudential tools. We have a general sense of direction, but we are largely navigating by sight.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Asia, Debt Relief, Economic research, Europe, Finance, Financial Crisis, Financial regulation, Fiscal policy, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Politics, Public debt | Tagged: conference, debt, Financial regulation, financial sector, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund, Italy, Japan, macroeconomic policy, macroeconomics, macroprudential policies, monetary policy, Olivier Blanchard, Spain, United Kingdom | 7 Comments »
Posted on March 28, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Antoinette M. Sayeh
(Versions in 中文, Français, 日本語, Русский, and Español)
For many years, countries in sub-Saharan Africa have spent large amounts on subsidizing fuel and electricity. For both sources of energy combined, this averages around 3-4 percent of GDP. That’s about the same magnitude as public spending on health in many countries. Now we need to ask some important questions. Is this a good use of scarce resources? Where does this money go? Is it helping to support the livelihood of the poorest in African economies? Is it helping to boost the country’s competitiveness? The answers are largely, no. I believe this money can and must be used better to invest in the critical physical and social infrastructure required to sustain growth in sub-Saharan Africa. A recent IMF paper backs this up.
Filed under: Africa, Emerging Markets, Finance, Fiscal policy, Français, growth, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Politics | 1 Comment »