Posted on January 28, 2013 by iMFdirect
by David Moore
Latvia’s economy has attracted international attention out of all proportion to its size. Many observers know that Latvia returned to strong economic growth after a severe downturn in 2008 and 2009 and a tough austerity program. In late 2012, Latvia even repaid the IMF in full, several years early.
But the international consensus ends there. Critics of Latvia’s economic strategy point to continuing high rates of unemployment and poverty; advocates point to the benefits of frontloading spending cuts and tax increases to lay the foundations for recovery.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Employment, Europe, Fiscal policy, Fiscal Stimulus, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: credit, economic policy, economic reform, Economics, euro, growth, IMF, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund, Latvia, poverty, unemployment, wages | 2 Comments »
Posted on July 16, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard
(Versions in عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Русский, 日本語)
The global recovery continues, but the recovery is weak; indeed a bit weaker than we forecast in April.
In the Euro zone, growth is close to zero, reflecting positive but low growth in the core countries, and negative growth in most periphery countries. In the United States, growth is positive, but too low to make a serious dent to unemployment.
Growth has also slowed in major emerging economies, from China to India and Brazil.
Downside risks, coming primarily from Europe, have increased.
Let me develop these themes in turn.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: bank recapitalization, banks, Brazil, capital flows, China, economic policy, economic recovery, euro zone, Europe, exproters, financial markets, fiscal cliff, fiscal consolidation, France, Germany, government debts and deficits, growth, housing, IMF, iMFdirect blog, India, International Monetary Fund, Italy, loans, non-performing loans, Olivier Blanchard, Spain, structural reforms, unemployment, United States, WEO, World Economic Outlook | 10 Comments »
Posted on October 21, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Bas Bakker
(Versions in Español and Français )
As the crisis in Europe deepens, it is worth asking how it all went wrong in the first place. In the past decade there have been stark differences in per capita GDP growth in Europe. Growth rates have ranged from close to zero in Italy and Portugal to more than 4 percent in the best performers. Why do some countries in Europe grow much faster than others? And how can those falling behind catch up before it is too late?
In part, these differences reflect “convergence”. It is much easier for poor countries to grow faster than it is for rich countries because they can import technology they do not already have. It is much more difficult to grow fast if you are already rich and at the technology frontier—now you can only get richer by innovation.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Employment, Europe, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Public debt | Tagged: Austria, banking financial system, convergence, economic policy, Europe, fiscal consolidation, fiscal deficits, GDP, Germany, Greece, growth, imbalances, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Italy, labor markets, Poland, Portugal, public finances, reforms, regulation, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, tax reform, the Netherlands, unemployment | 14 Comments »
Posted on June 6, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
Across the world, surging international food prices have become a major cause for concern and topic of debate. This is especially so in the Arab world, which is home to some of the largest food importers and where rising food prices have been one of the factors in recent political unrest.
In the context of ongoing political developments, governments across the region are responding to the rise in commodity prices with hikes in fuel and food subsidies, civil service wage and pension increases, additional cash transfers, tax reductions, and other spending increases. These measures will help poor households maintain their purchasing power and limit further increases in domestic food prices.
How should central banks—whose task is to prevent general price increases that would further cut into peoples’ incomes—react? What inflation metric should they target? Continue reading
Filed under: Economic Crisis, IMF, Inequality, Middle East | Tagged: central banks, consumption, economic policy, food, fuel, inflation, Middle East, monetary policy, North Africa, oil, poor | 6 Comments »