Posted on May 24, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Antoinette M. Sayeh
(Version in Français)
Sub-Saharan Africa’s “frontier markets”—the likes of Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, and Zambia—were seemingly the destination of choice for an increasing amount of capital flows before the global financial crisis. Improving economic prospects in these countries was a big factor, but frankly, so too was a global economy awash with liquidity.
Then the crisis hit. And capital—particularly in the form of portfolio flows—was quick to flee these countries as was the case for so many other economies.
Fast forward to 2011. Capital flows are coming back to the frontier, but in dribs and drabs. Continue reading
Filed under: Africa, Economic outlook, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: capital controls, capital flows, capital inflows, equity investments, fixed-income investments, foreign direct investment, frontier markets, global financial crisis, liquidity conditions, Macroeconomic policies, macroprudential policies, net private capital flows, portfolio flows, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, shallow financial markets, Sub-Saharan Africa | 1 Comment »
Posted on May 18, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Antonio Borges
(Versions in Español, Français, Português, Русский)
With all the anxiety generated by the troubles of Portugal, Greece, and Ireland, it is easy to forget that a different part of Europe was in the spotlight two years ago, facing equally dire predictions of bank runs, fiscal ruin, and devaluation.
Today, many economies in emerging Europe are quietly staging a strong comeback. Most impressive is the turnaround in the three Baltic countries, which suffered record deep recessions in the wake of the 2008/09 financial crisis. Take Lithuania, which grew an eye-catching 14.7 percent in the first quarter of 2011. But many other countries in the region are seeing strong growth as well. Continue reading
Filed under: Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Europe, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: asset price bubbles, boom-bust cycle, capital inflows, consumption, credit default swaps, current account deficits, domestic demand, economic growth, economic output, exports, growth potential, investment, Macroeconomic policies, markets, structural policies | 2 Comments »
Posted on April 28, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Anoop Singh
(Version in 中文, 日本語 and 한국어)
As the economic recovery has matured across much of Asia, the region has continued to be a driving force in the strengthening global recovery. Yet, recent tragic events—around the globe, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan—are an all too poignant reminder of the fragility of our economic circumstances and, indeed, life.
Much of this weighs on my mind as I am here in Hong Kong to launch our April 2011 Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific. While the outlook is by no means gloomy, it is an opportune time to consider how Asia should manage the next phase of growth. Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: capital inflows, commodity prices, domestic demand, economic growth, economic recovery, exports, financial risk, fiscal consolidation, global imbalances, global recovery, Macroeconomic policies, overheating, poverty, Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, unemployment | Comments Off
Posted on April 13, 2011 by iMFdirect
By José Viñals
In various guises, the “Year of Living Dangerously” has been used to describe the global financial crisis, the policy response to the crisis, and its aftermath.
But, we’ve slipped well beyond a year and the financial system is still flirting with danger. Durable financial stability has, so far, proven elusive.
Financial stability risks may have eased, reflecting improvements in the economic outlook and continuing accommodative policies. But those supportive policies—while necessary to restart the economy—have also masked serious, underlying financial vulnerabilities that need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, Financial regulation, Financial sector supervision, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: asset quality, balance sheets, bank credit, bank restructuring, banking system, capital buffers, capital controls, capital inflows, debt sustainability, financial imbalances, financial sector risk, financial stability, global financial crisis, Global Financial Stability Report, government debt, household indebtedness, macroprudential policies, medium-term fiscal consolidation, overheating, sovereign funding | 5 Comments »
Posted on April 11, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard
The world economic recovery is gaining strength, but it remains unbalanced.
Three numbers tell the story. We expect the world economy to grow at about 4.5 percent a year in both 2011 and 2012, but with advanced economies growing at only 2.5 percent, while emerging and developing economies grow at a much higher 6.5 percent.
On the good news side. Earlier fears of a double dip—which we did not share—have not materialized. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: bank recapitalization, capital controls, capital inflows, commodity prices, economic recovery, exchange rate, Financial regulation, financial stability, financial supervision, fiscal consolidation, Fiscal Stimulus, fiscal sustainability, inflation expectations, inventory cycle, macroprudential policies, policy coordination, potential output, private demand, unemployment, World Economic Outlook | 8 Comments »
Posted on December 21, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Nigel Chalk
(Version in 中文)
In the past couple of years, Hong Kong has witnessed a sharp increase in property prices. This has led some to claim that the time has come to change Hong Kong’s “Linked Exchange Rate System”.
This represents a misdiagnosis of the current situation and the wrong prescription for Hong Kong.
It is true that the average cost of an apartment in Hong Kong has risen by almost 20 percent in the past year alone. This stands in stark contrast to what our latest World Economic Outlook described as the dismal outlook for real estate markets in the industrial countries.
And, like many countries in the region, Hong Kong has been the destination for an extraordinary amount of global capital over the past two years.
But how much of these trends have been a product of the exchange rate regime? Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Economic outlook, 中文 | Tagged: capital inflows, credit risks, exchange rate regime, fixed exchange, Hong Kong, inflation, lending standards, property price bubble, property taxes, safe haven, speculation, transactions costs | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 1, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Anoop Singh
(Version in 日本語)
Of all the things policymakers have had to worry about in the past couple of years, inflation wasn’t one of them. Some even heralded the end of inflation.
Today, inflation still isn’t a ‘problem’ in Asia. For the most part, it remains relatively modest, but it is on the rise in some countries in the region. And understanding what is driving that inflation matters. Policymakers need to consider the sources of inflation in making the right policy choices. What policy tools to choose. Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook | Tagged: actual output, capital inflows, commodity prices, core inflation, domestic demand, economic growth, exchange rates flexibility, inflation, interest rates, monetary policy, output gaps, policy stimulus, potential output, Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, structural reforms | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 21, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Anoop Singh
I am in Asia this week to launch our October 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific (REO) in Jakarta and Singapore. As I have inevitably found during visits to Asia over so many years, the mood here is confident about future economic prospects. Yet it is also watchful for risks that may be lurking over the horizon. This mood matches closely the main messages of our current assessment of the outlook for the region. Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Economic outlook, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: capital inflows, currency appreciation, economic recovery, external risks, financial markets, fiscal consolidation, inflationary pressures, macroprudential regulations, monetary tightening, policy stimulus, private domestic demand, Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 20, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Ajai Chopra
Almost unnoticed, amid the difficulties in western Europe, the other half of the continent has begun to recover from the deepest slump in its post-transition period. The emerging economies in central and eastern Europe will grow by 3¾ percent this year and next—a relief after the 6 percent decline in 2009.
Why was the crisis so severe—and how do we avoid a repeat? We consider just that question in our fall 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Europe. While the crisis was triggered by external shocks, it is clear that domestic imbalances and policies also played a key role. Continue reading
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Europe, Financial Crisis, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: asset price bubbles, balance sheets, bank credit, boom-bust cycle, capital inflows, cooperation, credit boom, economic imbalances, economic rebalancing, emerging Europe, fiscal policy, fixed exchange rates, prudential regulation, regional economic outlook, Regional Economic Outlook: Europe | 12 Comments »