Posted on December 11, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Alejandro Werner
(Versions Español and Português)
Public finances in most Latin American countries strengthened significantly before the global financial crisis. Since 2009, countries have generally increased public deficits, drawing down on their fiscal coffers.
These expansionary policies continue and are yet to be reversed. With further pressures likely to build over the period ahead—as economic growth has slowed, commodity prices have softened, and external funding costs are bound to rise—now is the right time to rethink fiscal policies across the region.
Filed under: Economic research, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Public debt | Tagged: Brazil, Chile, Colombia, fiscal policy, Fiscal Stimulus, infrastructure, labor market, Mexico, Peru, public deficits, public finances, public spending | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 9, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Christine Lagarde
Having visited Cambodia and Korea on this whirlwind tour of the region, I touched down in my third and last country—Myanmar.
What a place! It is rare to find such a combination of enchanting beauty, warm hospitality, and an unstoppable drive to succeed. Myanmar is undergoing a great awakening to the world and all that it has to offer. And it is engaging on multiple fronts. For example, it has recently taken over the chairmanship of ASEAN, and when I arrived I found the country in the midst of hosting the South East Asian games.
Filed under: Asia, Emerging Markets, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Low-income countries | Tagged: Christine Lagarde, education, health, infrastructure, Myanmar, poverty reduction, women | 2 Comments »
Posted on November 27, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Martin Kaufman and Mercedes García-Escribano
(Version in Español and Português)
Since the early 2000s, Brazil’s economy has grown at a robust clip, with growth in 2010 reaching 7.5 percent—its strongest in a quarter of a century. A key pillar of its hard-won economic success has been sound economic policies and the adoption of far-reaching social programs, which resulted in a substantial decline in poverty.
In the last couple of years Brazil’s growth slowed down. Although other emerging market economies experienced a similar slowdown, the growth outturns in Brazil were particularly disappointing. And the measures taken to stimulate the economy did not produce a sustained recovery. This is because unleashing sustained growth in Brazil requires measures geared not at stimulating domestic demand but at changing the composition of demand towards investment and at increasing productivity.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Español, Finance, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Português, Public debt | Tagged: Article IV, Brazil, BRICs, fiscal consolidation, infrastructure, macroeconomic policy, recovery, unemployment | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 16, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Alejandro Werner
(Version in Español & Português)
For many Latin American and Caribbean economies, clouds have appeared on the economic horizon. As the global growth momentum shifts from the emerging to the advanced economies, the strength of domestic economic policies will be crucial for how countries can cope with the combination of lower commodity prices and tighter external financing conditions.
Lower commodity prices have already started to affect the region’s commodity exporters. Even though prices remain high by historical standards, countries can no longer count on the tailwind from ever-improving terms of trade, which had propelled economic activity over the past decade.
Meanwhile, longer-term U.S. interest rates have started to rise, with knock-on effects for emerging markets. Across all of the financially integrated economies of Latin America, bond yields have increased, equity prices have fallen, and currencies have depreciated since May, when the U.S. Fed first mentioned the possibility of tapering its bond purchases later this year. Financial conditions remain fairly benign for now, but the strong tailwind from ultra-low external financing costs may also be gone for good.
Filed under: Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Español, Finance, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Languages, Latin America, Public debt | Tagged: fiscal balances, infrastructure, lending, Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere | Leave a Comment »
Posted on May 8, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Anoop Singh
(Versions in 中文 and 日本語)
Fiscal management has improved in Asia over the past decade. It has become more responsive to economic conditions and thereby helped stabilize growth, especially during the global financial crisis. While these are important achievements, major challenges still lie ahead—as our latest Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook points out.
What are these key challenges? In a nutshell, fiscal policy can, and should do more to make Asia’s growth sustainable and more inclusive.
In the near term, budget consolidation has to proceed as the recovery takes hold to rebuild the fiscal space needed to respond to future output fluctuations.
At the same time several emerging and low income economies need to create room for higher infrastructure and social spending to support long-term growth, reduce income inequality, and fight poverty.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Asia, Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Finance, Financial Crisis, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: infrastructure, investment, public spending, reform | Leave a Comment »
Posted on March 27, 2013 by iMFdirect
By Carlo Cottarelli
(Versions in Español, 中文, Français, 日本語, and Русский)
Let’s face it. Everybody loves cheap energy. Almost all human activities require energy consumption and, if something is so basic, it seems pretty obvious that it should not be denied to anyone and government should make it as cheap as possible to both households and companies, including through subsidies. This can help households avoid paying exorbitant energy bills at the end of the month, something that the poor may not be able to afford even for basic needs like heating and cooking.
Companies may also need energy subsidies to help them stay competitive. Energy subsidies appear even more appropriate, and even the obvious thing to do, in countries that have a large supply of energy, like oil producers. After all, this natural wealth in the form of energy belongs to the people; why shouldn’t it be cheap?
Filed under: Africa, Economic research, Español, Finance, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Français, growth, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Middle East, Politics, عربي | Tagged: education, energy subsidies, energy taxes, environment, fiscal policy, GDP, infrastructure, reform | Leave a Comment »
Posted on December 21, 2012 by iMFdirect
The planet’s most successful species are the great cooperators: ants, bees, termites, and humans.
In an article in the new issue of Finance & Development magazine, President Bill Clinton shares his experience working with governments, business, and civil society as part of his Clinton Global Initiative.
He says they are making the most progress in places where people have formed networks of creative cooperation where stakeholders come together to do things better, faster and cheaper than any could alone.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Asia, Civil Society, Debt Relief, Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, Finance, Fiscal policy, Globalization, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, Middle East, Multilateral Cooperation | Tagged: Africa, agriculture, Bolsa Familia, Brazil, business, business leaders, Canada, capital markets, Clinton Global Initiative, Coca-Cola, Colombia, cooperation, developing countries, domestic food security, Economics, economy, exports, farmers, Fundacíon Carlos Slim, Fundacíon Pies Descalzos, Gap Inc., governments, growth, Haiti, HIV/AIDS, IMF, iMFdirect, imports, infrastructure, International Monetary Fund, investment, Ira Magaziner, Ireland, Latin America, Malawi, mining industry, networks, NGOs, Norway, philanthropists, poverty, President Bill Clinton, private sector, small and medium-sized enterprises, the United Kingdom, tourism, United Nations General Assembly, vocational training | 4 Comments »
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 July 19, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Ajai Chopra
The U.K. economy has been flat for nearly two years. This stagnation has left output per capita a staggering 14 percent below its precrisis trend and 6 percent below its pre-crisis level.
Weak growth has kept unemployment high at 8.1 percent, with youth unemployment an alarming 22 percent.
The effects of a persistently weak economy and high long-term unemployment can reverberate through a country’s economy long into the future—commonly referred to by economists as hysteresis.
Our analysis of such hysteresis effects shows that the large and sustained output gap, the difference between what an economy could produce and what it is producing, raises the danger that a downturn reduces the economy’s productive capacity and permanently depresses potential GDP.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Employment, Europe, Fiscal policy, Fiscal Stimulus, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Public debt | Tagged: bank funding, Bank of England, banks, borrowing costs, collateral, credit, crisis, deficits, demand, Economics, financial stability, GDP, government, gross domestic product, haricuts, hysteresis, idle capital, IMF, infrastructure, interest rates, International Monetary Fund, investment, liquidity, monetary policy, new technologies, output, output gap, policymakers, private sector, public debt, public sector, quantitative easing, risks, stagnation, U.K., unemployment, United Kingdom, yield curve | 6 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 »