Posted on September 30, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Abdul Abiad, Davide Furceri, and Petia Topalova
Infrastructure is the backbone of well-functioning economies. Unfortunately, that backbone is becoming increasingly brittle in a number of advanced economies. For example, there has been a decline in the overall quality of infrastructure in the United States and Germany (Figure 1; see the FT 2014 and ASCE 2013 for more in infrastructure in the U.S., and Der Speigel 2014 and Kunert and Link 2013 for Germany). In many emerging market and developing economies, the expansion of the backbone has not kept pace with the broader economy, and this is stunting the ability of these economies to grow.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, growth, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Public debt, Reform | Tagged: Brazil, emerging market, Germany, India, infrastructure, investment, Macroeconomic policies, public investment, South Africa, taxes, the Philippines, United States, World Economic Outlook | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 25, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Roberto Cardarelli and Lusine Lusinyan
(Versión en español)
Today’s Pop Quiz: What do Oregon and New Mexico have in common? What could possibly link the spectacular vistas of Crater Lake to the glistening White Sands?
Answer: One link is these two states have the highest share of computer and electronic production in the entire United States. Think Intel in the Silicon Forest or Los Alamos. They also rank similarly in information technology usage by their businesses.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Employment, Financial Crisis, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: consumption, exports, human capital, investment, Labor, labor force, technology, U.S., United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 22, 2014 by iMFdirect
Lurking conjures up images of spies, flashers and other dodgy types. The IMF’s chief economist Olivier Blanchard takes readers into the dark corners of the financial crisis in his latest article ‘Where Danger Lurks’ in our recent issue of Finance & Development Magazine, and looks at small shocks, sudden stops and liquidity.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, Financial Crisis, Globalization, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Politics | Tagged: central banks, Finance & Development magazine, financial crisis, global economy, macroeconomic policy, Olivier Blanchard, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 17, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Ian Parry
The time has come to end hand wringing on climate strategy, particularly controlling carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. We need an approach that builds on national self-interest and spurs a race to the top in low-carbon energy solutions. Our findings here at the IMF—that carbon pricing is practical, raises revenue that permits tax reductions in other areas, and is often in countries’ own interests—should strike a chord at the United Nations Climate Summit in New York next week. Let me explain how.
Ever since the 1992 Earth Summit, policymakers have struggled to agree on an international regime for controlling emissions, but with limited success. Presently, only around 12 percent of global emissions are covered by pricing programs, such as taxes on the carbon content of fossil fuels or permit trading programs that put a price on emissions. Reducing CO2 emissions is widely seen as a classic “free-rider” problem. Why should an individual country suffer the cost of cutting its emissions when the benefits largely accrue to other countries and, given the long life of emissions and the gradual adjustment of the climate system, future generations?
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic research, Global Governance, Globalization, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Politics, Reform | Tagged: Australia, carbon pricing, carbon tax, China, Climate change, CO2 emissions, energy taxes, environment, European Union, fossil fuels, Poland, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 10, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Francesco Columba and Jarkko Turunen
(Versión en español)
photo: Patrick H. Corkery/DoD/Sipa USA/Newscom
After more than five years of exceptionally low interest rates, the U.S. Fed is getting closer to the point of managing a liftoff of policy interest rates from close to zero. As of today, liftoff is expected to take place by around mid-2015.
But this is not set in stone. The Fed has repeatedly emphasized that the timing will depend on the state of the U.S. economy. If things look better, policy rates may increase earlier. Conversely, weaker than expected data may well mean that interest rates will move up later.
In our view, based on our most recent economic projections, there is some scope for policy rates to stay at zero for a little while longer than mid-2015, given the remaining slack in the labor market and still low inflation.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Employment, Fiscal policy, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: fiscal policy, IMF, interest rates, International Monetary Fund, monetary policy, unemployment, United States, US Federal Reserve | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 8, 2014 by iMFdirect
By Era Dabla-Norris
Much of the debate on inequality focuses on its deleterious social and political effects and its impact on growth. But an equally important issue is what policies play a clear role in reducing income inequality.
The results of our new study suggest that improvements in education—even more than factors such as government expenditure or financial sector development—have contributed in an important way to reducing income inequality within countries.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Finance, Globalization, growth, Inequality, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: education, expenditure reform, income inequality, inequality, technology, United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 4, 2014 by iMFdirect
As you trudge back to the office or cubie with a little sand still crunching in your backpack, you know the holiday is over. To help you catch up, here are some blogs to re-read to get you back into the swing of things.
Remember Europe? I thought so. The European Central Bank is center stage this week as inflation in Europe has hit a trough, which reminded me of our blog about deflation back in March that rattled a few cages.
Which brings us to what will or won’t happen with global interest rates, and their impact on well, pretty much everyone. We’ve analyzed the tea leaves so you don’t have to.
Filed under: Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Europe, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries | Tagged: China, deflation, Europe, European Central Bank, Fiscal Monitor, Global Financial Stability Report, IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings, inequality, interest rates, United States, World Economic Outlook | Leave a comment »