Posted on October 9, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Carlo Cottarelli
(Versions in عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Русский, 日本語)
The slow global recovery is making fiscal adjustment more difficult around the world, but this doesn’t mean that little has been accomplished.
In fact, significant progress in many countries has been made during the past two years in strengthening their fiscal accounts after the 2008–09 deterioration. The IMF’s latest Fiscal Monitor takes stock of this progress.
Deficits are lower, and in many cases debt is too
Let me first say something about advanced economies, which is where the most urgent fiscal problems exist.
Most advanced economies have made good progress lowering their fiscal deficits (the imbalance between spending and revenues). Deficits, adjusted for the economic cycle, fell by about ¾ of a percentage point of GDP in 2011 and 2012, and are projected to do so by about 1 percentage point of GDP in 2013.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Africa, Annual Meetings, Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, Finance, Fiscal policy, Global Governance, Globalization, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America, Low-income countries, Middle East, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics, Public debt | Tagged: budgets, Carlo Cotarelli, debt ratio, Debt-to-GDP, deficit, emerging markets, fiscal cliff, fiscal consolidation, Fiscal Monitor, spending, taxes, United States | 3 Comments »
Posted on April 6, 2012 by iMFdirect
By Mauricio Soto
We’re all getting older, and there’s no doubt that pension reform is a hot topic in the advanced economies. But it’s also critical in emerging economies.
Our analysis here at the IMF shows that across emerging economies pension spending is projected to rise as the population ages. On average, these spending increases are not that large. But reforms are needed to increase coverage of the system without making pension systems financially unsustainable over the long term.
In emerging Europe, we’ve seen how pension spending has increased from 7½ to 9 percent of GDP over the past two decades. Spending also increased rapidly in other emerging economies—albeit from much lower levels—going from 2 to 3 percent of GDP over the same period. It seems the relatively low spending in emerging economies outside Europe reflects relatively low coverage (generally only those in the formal sector are eligible) and younger populations.
Populations are aging rapidly in the emerging economies. As illustrated in Chart 1, a rather grim picture is developing where we see that the ratio of elderly to working population will more than double in the next four decades. In the future, there will be many more retirees consuming what fewer workers will produce.
Filed under: Africa, Emerging Markets, Europe, Finance, growth, Inequality, Latin America, Middle East, Public debt | Tagged: Asia, Bulgaria, Chile, Estonia, Hungary, pensions, Poland, retirement, spending | 11 Comments »