Posted on October 25, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Luis Cubeddu and Sebastián Sosa
(Version in Español)
World food prices are on the rise again owing mainly to global weather-related shocks. This has led to concern that the rise could result in higher inflation and hurt the most vulnerable.
Two points to note are that the recent increase in food prices has been less acute than the two previous episodes (in mid-2008 and early 2011), and features important differences across commodities. For example, while the price of soybeans, corn and wheat are up sharply, coffee and sugar prices are down. Market projections suggest that corn, soy, and wheat prices will stay high through end-2012, but then decline gradually as supply conditions normalize.
Filed under: Africa, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Fiscal policy, Globalization, growth, IMF, Inequality, Investment, Latin America, Politics | Tagged: Brazil, Caribbean, Central America, coffee, commodities, corn, fertilizer, food prices, iMFdirect, inflation, seeds, South America, Southern Cone, soybeans, sugar, wages, wheat | 2 Comments »
Posted on October 25, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Anoop Singh
With economic growth expected to continue at a reasonably good clip this year and next, it’s all too easy to think there’s not much to worry about. Even as Diwali celebrations begin across India, the outlook for the world economy is fairly uneven and uncertain. More worrisome than the subdued global growth outlook, risks are building up especially in Europe—and these include an extreme scenario with financial disruption.
Although India’s economy has generally been less prone to external forces than many others, we still need to contend with the larger than typical risks in the global economy. These risks harken the need for a new wave of reforms.
What does the more somber darker global outlook mean for India? And exactly what policies are needed? Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: domestic demand, economic growth, expenditure reform, export diversification, external risks, financial integration, financial shocks, fiscal consolidation, IMF, iMFdirect, inflation, International Monetary Fund, Regional Economic Outlook: Asia, Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, spillovers, stock market, transmission channel | 4 Comments »
Posted on October 13, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Anoop Singh
(Versions in 中文, 日本語)
Recent large equity sell-offs across Asia and safe haven flows into Japan illustrate perfectly the region’s vulnerabilities to further global shocks. While the region’s fundamentals—built up over the past decade—remain relatively strong, economic uncertainties in Europe and the United States pose large downside risks.
The world economy has entered a dangerous new phase and, as the IMF’s Managing Director stated recently, “what makes the situation all the more urgent is that it has implications for every country.”
Our Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and the Pacific emphasizes these risks, and stresses the need for policymakers to remain vigilant and nimble in this extraordinarily uncertain climate. The view from here in Tokyo—looking out at the region—may be more serene than the view from other advanced country capitals, but there are storm clouds on the horizon. Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Europe, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: credit growth, derivative markets, domestic demand, downside risks, economic rebalancing, external shocks, foreign investors, global demand, iMFdirect, inclusive growth, inflation, infrastructure investment, International Monetary Fund, monetary policy, overheating, Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, stressed banks, unemployment | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 5, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Nicolás Eyzaguirre
(Version in Español)
As the European crisis lingers and advanced economies stall, the next six to eighteen months will be challenging for Latin America. Increased global uncertainties may create headwinds for the region—greater stress in the global economy and markets—tailwinds, if the advanced countries’ problems are tackled and economies spring back to life, or volatile gusts—weak growth and continued uncertainty—like we are seeing now.
But it’s not easy to forecast the future of Latin America in these uncertain times, as we discuss in our just-published Regional Economic Outlook for Western Hemisphere. (Here I focus on Latin America, but our report covers the whole region, including North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.)
Today’s global uncertainties are virtually unprecedented. But then again, much of Latin America is stronger today than in past decades. Continue reading
Filed under: Economic outlook, Economic research, International Monetary Fund, Latin America | Tagged: commodity prices, current account deficits, financial market turbulence, financial risks, financial system, fiscal consolidation, global financial markets, government budgets, iMFdirect, inflation, International Monetary Fund, liquidity, monetary policy, Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere | 5 Comments »
Posted on September 11, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Nigel Chalk
(Version in 中文)
It was pretty clear to me on a recent visit that China has become one of the biggest global markets for Angry Birds. The game was everywhere and around 100 million Chinese downloads are expected this year. It made me wonder if this was somehow linked to rising concerns over inflation and a way of getting back at those (increasingly expensive) mischievous green pigs.
During the past year, views on China’s economy have yo-yoed from concerns about the recovery, to hand-wringing about inflation and overheating, and then back to talk of hard landing.
Certainly inflation has been a key feature of the environment this year in China and one should pay close attention to it. Rising inflation is a crucial social concern and takes a heavy toll on household incomes that are already struggling to keep up with economic growth. Continue reading
Filed under: Asia, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, IMF, International Monetary Fund, 中文 | Tagged: asset price inflation, bottlenecks, China, excess labor, food inflation, food price shocks, food prices, IMF, iMFdirect, inflation, International Monetary Fund, Macroeconomic policies, overheating, pork prices, property prices, skills gaps, surplus labor | 2 Comments »
Posted on August 1, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Ajai Chopra
The U.K. government should be nimble in its policy response if it looks as though the economy is headed for a prolonged period of weak growth, high unemployment, and subdued inflation. Currently, we don’t expect this scenario to happen. But if such a scenario appears to be in prospect, we recommend responding quickly with some combination of further quantitative easing by the Bank of England and temporary tax cuts.
The most likely scenario for the U.K. economy is that it will gradually recover, although it will face continued headwinds from a soft housing market, household and financial sector deleveraging, and ongoing consolidation of the budget. Against this, the economy should get a push from private investment and an increase in exports driven by the global recovery. Labor productivity may also rebound and improve competitiveness.
Led by these forces, the IMF is expecting a bumpy and uneven recovery in the U.K. and our updated growth forecast for the near term, taking into account the recent GDP release for the second quarter, will be published with the September World Economic Outlook. Over the medium term, we expect growth to accelerate gradually to about 2½ percent. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Europe, Fiscal policy, Fiscal Stimulus | Tagged: commodiity prices, competitiveness, exports, fiscal adjustment, housing market, inflation, quantitative easing, tax cuts, unemployment | 8 Comments »
Posted on June 27, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Jody Myers
(Version in Français)
Drug traffickers, diamond smugglers, and terrorists’ financiers around the world have one thing in common: they abuse the financial system to “clean” the proceeds they have obtained from their illegal work, or to transfer funds to achieve their destructive aims. The former is known as money laundering and the latter as terrorist financing.
In the United States alone, profits from these crimes are estimated around $275 billion, excluding tax evasion.
Our research shows this dark side of the economy has destructive consequences for a country’s financial stability, economy, and governance. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Europe, Financial Crisis, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: Article IV, banks, corruption, Financial Action Task Force, financial institutions, Financial Sector Assessment Program, government revenues, inflation, insider trading, International Monetary Fund, money laundering, purchasing power, risk, tax evasion, terrorist financing, United States | 4 Comments »
Posted on June 20, 2011 by iMFdirect
By José Viñals
(Versions in عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Русский)
It was fitting that I should present our latest assessment of global financial stability in Sao Paulo, the financial center of one of the leading emerging economies. In common with many of its peers in Latin America, Brazil is recovering strongly from the crisis. But new financial stability challenges are emerging in this, and other fast-growing regions.
Let me start with three key messages:
- First, financial risks have increased since April.
- Second, as a result, policymakers in both advanced and emerging economies need to step up their efforts to preserve financial stability and safeguard the recovery.
- And third, we have entered into a new phase of the crisis – a political phase- when tough political decisions will need to be made, because the window for substantial policy action is closing. Time is of the essence. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Emerging Markets, Europe, Financial Crisis, Financial regulation, IMF | Tagged: Brazil, capital flows, debt, emerging economies, Europe, financial policies, financial risks, Global Financial Stability Report, inflation, intereste rates, Japan, Latin America, macropurdential, policymakers, sovereign risk, stress tests, United States | 5 Comments »
Posted on June 17, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard
عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Português, Русский)
Today we’re in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to release our update to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook.
Despite a mild slowdown, the global economic recovery continues but the road to health will be a long one. Downside risks, both old and new, are increasing.
Our world forecast is 4.3% growth for 2011, and 4.5% for 2012, so down by 0.1% for 2011, and unchanged for 2012, relative to April. This figure hides very different performances for advanced economies on the one hand, and for emerging and developing economies on the other. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, growth, IMF | Tagged: advanced economies, Asia, assets, banks, Brazil, capital flows, commodities, credit, crisis, debt, economy, emerging economies, Europe, financial system, fiscal, food prices, global recovery, government debt and deficits, growth, IMF, iMFdirect, income, inflation, International Monetary Fund, Japan, Latin America, monetary policy, oil prices, unemployment, United States, World Economic Outlook | 4 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 »