Posted on August 14, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Stephan Danninger
(Versions in 日本語)
Japan’s GDP declined by almost 7 percent in the second quarter, more than many had forecast including us here at the IMF. Many cite the increase in the sales tax this April for this decline. But that is not the full story.
Yes, it is true that consumer responses to major tax increases are difficult to predict, and large spending swings are not unusual. We see this pattern in many countries (see chart) including Germany’s 2007 VAT increase, which had a short-lived impact.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Asia, Economic outlook, Economic research, Employment, Finance, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Reform | Tagged: Abenomics, Bank of Japan, consumption tax, Germany, inflation, Japan, labor market, sales tax, structural reform, VAT | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 8, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Antoinette M. Sayeh
In my many travels to sub-Saharan Africa, a frequent question on the lips of policymakers is the following: “Sure, we know that growth has not been inclusive enough and poverty remains high in most of our countries, but what exactly can we do to make growth more inclusive?” This is an important question that the latest edition of the Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa takes a stab at.
It is well known by now that growth in sub-Saharan Africa for the past 15 years or so has on average been quite strong. What is less well known perhaps is that a number of human development indicators such as infant and maternal mortality, primary school enrollment and completion rates, have also improved (see Chart 1).
Filed under: Africa, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: agriculture, Mozambique, poverty, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa, structural reform, Sub-Saharan Africa, United Nations, Vietnam | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 7, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Prakash Loungani
(Version in Español)
Over 200 million people are unemployed around the globe today, over a fifth of them in advanced economies. Unemployment rates in these economies shot up at the onset of the Great Recession and, five years later, remain very high. Some argue that this is to be expected given that the economy remains well below trend and press for greater easing of macroeconomic policies (e.g. Krugman, 2011, Kocherlakota (2014)). Others suggest that the job losses, particularly in countries like Spain and Ireland, have been too large to be explained by developments in output, and may largely reflect structural problems in their labor markets. Even in the United States, where unemployment rates have fallen over the past year, there is concern that increasing numbers of people are dropping out of the labor force, thus decoupling jobs and growth.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Employment, Finance, growth, International Monetary Fund, recession | Tagged: Austria, employment, Great Recession, Ireland, Italy, jobs, labor force, labor market, Prakash Loungani, Spain, structural reform, unemployed, unemployment, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 27, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Christine Lagarde
(Versions in عربي, 中文, 日本語 and Español)
This past weekend, 187 countries came together in Washington D.C. to focus on the economic crisis facing the world.
They were here for the 2011 Annual Meeting of the IMF and World Bank, at which finance ministers and central bank governors mix with businesspeople, civil society, labor leaders, and parliamentarians to discuss the critical issues we face.
Coming in to this Meeting, I had warned of a dangerous new phase now facing the global economy and had called for bold and collective action. Coming out of the Meeting, I feel strongly that the global community is beginning to respond.
Why? Three reasons: a shared sense of urgency, a shared diagnosis of the problems, and a shared sense that the steps needed in the period ahead are now coming into focus. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Annual Meetings, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Multilateral Cooperation | Tagged: 2011 World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings, Annual Meetings, competitiveness, confidence, Financial regulation, financial sector reform, fiscal policy, household balance sheets, IMF, IMF lending, IMF surveillance, iMFdirect, International Monetary and Financial Committee, International Monetary Fund, medium-term fiscal consolidation, monetary policy, political will, sovereign and financial balance sheets, structural reform, technical assistance, unemployment, weak balance sheets, weak growth | 71 Comments »
Posted on January 25, 2011 by iMFdirect
By Olivier Blanchard
(Version in Español | Français | Русский | عربي| 中文 | 日本語 )
The world economic recovery continues. But it remains a two-speed recovery: slow in advanced countries, and much faster in emerging and developing economies. As a result, tensions and risks are emerging, which require strong policy responses.
For some time, global activity was led by fiscal stimulus and the restocking of inventories. This process is now essentially over, which means that global growth is set to slow over the coming year. Fortunately, underlying private demand is improving, so we expect the slowdown to be modest, with global growth remaining at 4.4 percent in 2011, down from 5 percent in 2010. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, 中文 | Tagged: bank recapitalization, capital flows, commodity prices, currency appreciation, economic recovery, financial markets, fiscal consolidation, Fiscal Stimulus, global imbalances, private demand, structural reform, unemployment | 7 Comments »
Posted on October 29, 2010 by iMFdirect
By Masood Ahmed
(Version in عربي )
With the global economy on the mend, countries in the Middle East and North Africa are witnessing a pickup in trade and economic growth. Aided by rising oil prices and production levels and supportive fiscal policies, economic growth for the region as a whole is projected to exceed 4 percent in 2010, almost double what it was in 2009.
In contrast, and unlike many emerging markets elsewhere, the region’s oil-importing countries saw only a mild slowdown in economic growth last year to 4½ percent and are likely to see growth nudge up to around 5 percent this year. However, as our October 2010 Regional Economic Outlook for the Middle East points out, that growth rate is well below the average of 6½ percent a year required to create the 18 million jobs needed over the next decade to absorb new labor-market entrants and eliminate chronically high unemployment. Continue reading
Filed under: Economic outlook, International Monetary Fund, Middle East, عربي | Tagged: business environment, competitiveness, economic growth, education, employment, high productivity, infrastructure, investment, labor markets, Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia, regulation, structural reform, tariffs, unemployment | Leave a comment »