Posted on April 21, 2015 by iMFdirect
By iMFdirect editors
All happy countries are alike; each unhappy country is unhappy in its own way.
This twist on Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina echoed through the seminars during the IMF’s Spring Meetings as most countries, while recovering, are struggling with the prospect of lower potential growth and the “new mediocre” becoming a “new reality.”
Our editors fanned out to cover what officials and civil society had to say about how to help countries pave their own path to happiness.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Annual Meetings, Asia, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, Finance, Global Governance, Globalization, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Multilateral Cooperation | Tagged: Africa, Asia, Climate change, commodiity prices, development financing, fuel price subsidy, global economy, IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, inflation, infrastructure, islamic finance, Middle East and North Africa, Millennium Development Goals, oil prices, public debt, Spring Meetings, trade | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 6, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Mohamed Norat, Marco Pinon and Zeine Zeidane
(Versions in عربي)
Since the global financial crisis, policymakers have sought to press the “reset” button to strengthen financial intermediation that is performed by conventional banks and non-bank financial institutions. The aim has been to address the fault lines that helped trigger one of the most devastating financial crises in a century, and to enable a more inclusive, stable financial system that promotes stability as well as economic development and growth.
Islamic finance offers several features that are consistent with these objectives. Islamic finance refers to financial services that conform with Islamic jurisprudence, or Shari’ah, which bans interest, speculation, gambling and short-sales; requires fair treatment; and institutes sanctity of contracts. And these principles hold the promise of supporting financial stability, since a key tenet of Islamic finance is that lenders should share in both the risks and rewards of the projects and loans they finance.
Filed under: Asia, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Financial regulation, Fiscal policy, Globalization, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Middle East | Tagged: Asia, financial crisis, Hong Kong, Islamic banking, islamic finance, Luxembourg, Middle East, real estate, senegal, Shariah, South Africa, sukuk, tax, United Kingdom | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 9, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Martine Guerguil
(Versions in 中文, Français, 日本語, Русский, and Español)
Five years into the crisis, the fiscal landscape remains challenging. On the positive side, deficit-cutting efforts and the first signs of recovery reduced the fiscal stress felt in many advanced economies; but debt ratios often remain at historical peaks. At the same time, slowing growth and rising borrowing costs, combined with unabated demands for improved public services, puts pressure on government budgets in emerging market economies.
So we created an index of ‘fiscal difficulty’ that shows the biggest challenge ahead for advanced economies is to maintain budget surpluses until debt ratios return to lower levels. We expect this will take several years.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Finance, growth, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Public debt | Tagged: Asia, budget, debt, deficit, emerging market, Fiscal Monitor, Middle East and North Africa, tax | 1 Comment »
Posted on December 6, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Christine Lagarde
(Version in Español)
Next week, I will travel to Latin America—my second visit to the region since November 2011. I return with increased optimism, as much of Latin America continues its impressive transformation that started a decade ago.
The region remains resilient to the recent bouts in global volatility, and many countries continue to expand at a healthy pace. An increasing number of people are escaping the perils of poverty to join a growing and increasingly vibrant middle class.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Español, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Public debt | Tagged: advanced economies, Asia, business leaders, capital flow management measures, capital flows, Central America, Chile, Civil Society, Colombia, commodity exporters, competitiveness, debt levels, demand, domestic demand, Economics, education, emerging economies, Europe, exports, external financing conditions, financial sector, financial supervision and regulation, fiscal balances, fiscal cliff United States, fiscal consolidation, fiscal policy, global crisis, global risks, growth, high commodity prices, iMFdirect, inequality, infrastructure, International Monetary Fund, Mexico, middle class, monetary policy, policymakers, poverty, productivity, reforms, students, tailwinds, taxes | 5 Comments »
Posted on June 27, 2012 by iMFdirect
Our top links for June, 2012 from iMFdirect blog and others:
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, Finance, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Globalization, growth, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America, LICs, Middle East, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics, Public debt | Tagged: Africa, Arab, Asia, Brazil, China, Cote d’Ivoire, debt relief, energy, environment, euro, Facebook, Finance & Development magazine, Google+, green, imbalances, iMFdirect blog, India, inequality, Japan, LICs, Middle East, oil, poor, Top links | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 30, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Anoop Singh
The sharp reduction in China’s current account surplus over recent years has ignited a flurry of speculation about whether the world’s second largest economy has achieved the fundamental, economic rebalancing which many have been pressing for. That is, rebalancing in terms of reduced dependence on exports, and increasing reliance on the domestic market by boosting consumer demand.
My own opinion is that it is too early to say. True, China’s current account surplus fell to around 2.8 percent of gross domestic product in 2011, from a pre-crisis peak of more than 10 percent in 2007. And while the reduction in China’s current account surplus is welcome news, we remain concerned that these changes may not represent a sustained, downward trend.
One possible sign of a durable turnaround in China’s current account surplus would be a pickup in consumption growth but there is little evidence that consumption is rising as a share of GDP.
Filed under: Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, Inequality, Investment, Politics, Public debt | Tagged: 12th Five Year Plan, Anoop Singh, Asia, China, consumption, current account, d, domestic demand, energy, exports, GDP. World Economic Outlook, iMFdirect, imports, infrastructure, Japan, Korea, machinery, minerals, surplus | 2 Comments »