Posted on January 29, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Carlo Cottarelli
(Versions in عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Русский, 日本語)
The IMF has argued for some time that the very high public debt ratios in many advanced economies should be brought down to safer levels through a gradual and steady process. Doing either too little or too much both involve risks: not enough fiscal adjustment could lead to a loss of market confidence and a fiscal crisis, potentially killing growth; but too much adjustment will hurt growth directly.
At times over the last couple of years we called on countries to step up the pace of adjustment when we thought they were moving too slowly.
Instead, in the current environment, I worry that some might be going too fast.
Risk to recovery
The latest update of the Fiscal Monitor shows that fiscal adjustment is proceeding pretty quickly in the advanced economies—on average the deficit is projected to fall by a total of 2 percentage points of GDP in 2011-12. The decline is even larger in the euro area—about 3 percentage points of GDP. In a reasonably good growth environment this pace of adjustment would be fine. But in the current weaker macroeconomic environment bringing deficits down this quickly could pose a risk for the economic recovery. (more…)
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Finance, Fiscal policy, Public debt | Tagged: bond spreads, confidence, economic recovery, fiscal adjustment, Fiscal Monitor, government bonds, IMF, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund, market behavior, medium-term fiscal consolidation, public debt, public deficits | 11 Comments »
Posted on September 20, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard
(Versions in عربي, Français, Español and Русский)
The global economy has entered a dangerous new phase. The recovery has weakened considerably, and downside risks have increased sharply. Strong policies are urgently needed to improve the outlook and reduce risks.
Growth, which had been strong in 2010, decreased in 2011. We had forecast some slowdown, due mainly to fiscal consolidation. One-time events, such as the tragic earthquake in Japan, offered plausible explanations for a further slowdown. The initial U.S. data also understated the size of the slowdown. Now that the numbers are in, it is clear that more was going on. (more…)
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: bank balance sheets, bank capital, bank lending, current account deficits, current accout surpluses, downside risks, economic forecasts, economic rebalancing, external rebalancing, financial volatility, fiscal consolidation, IMF, iMFdirect, International Monetary Fund, low growth, medium-term fiscal consolidation, Olivier Blanchard, private demand, public debt, public deficits, sovereign bonds, weak balance sheets, World Economic Outlook, world growth | 14 Comments »
Posted on December 2, 2009 by iMFdirect
By José Viñals
Governments and central banks rose to the challenge as the 2008–09 financial crisis unfolded, taking unprecedented steps to avoid the collapse of the global financial system and avert a devastating impact on the global economy. Liquidity support, capital infusions, and public guarantees were provided to banks and other financial institutions; policy interest rates were lowered substantially; and fiscal stimulus packages were introduced.
On top of this, international institutions like the IMF enhanced their lending facilities to help emerging markets and developing economies better cope with the threats posed by the crisis.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Emerging Markets, Fiscal Stimulus | Tagged: capital infusions, Liquidity support, monetary accommodation, public deficits, public guarantees, quantitative easing, spillover effects | 1 Comment »