Posted on September 24, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Shekhar Aiyar and Anna Ilyina
Problem loans are clogging the arteries of Europe’s banking system. The global financial crisis and subsequent recession have left businesses and households in many countries with debts that they cannot repay. Nonperforming loans as a share of total loans in the EU have more than doubled since 2009, reaching €1 trillion—over 9 percent of the region’s GDP—by end-2014. These loans are particularly high in the southern part of the euro area, as well as in several Eastern and Southeastern European countries. Only a handful of countries have managed to lower their nonperforming loan ratio to below its post-crisis peak.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Europe, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Reform | Tagged: debt, euro area, Europe, European Central Bank, non-performing loans, recession | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 10, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Joong Shik Kang and Shi Piao
(version in 日本語)
Japanese-brand cars have become everyday, household items in the United States, and it’s hard to drive in the country without seeing one on the roads. These cars may be manufactured by Japanese firms, but about 70 percent of these vehicles are actually produced in North America. Globally, in 2014, about two-thirds of Japanese cars were produced on assembly lines outside of that country. Despite the increase in overseas demand for Japanese vehicles, this hasn’t been mirrored by an expansion in investment, and the building of factories in Japan to meet that demand.
Against this background, our IMF Working Paper looks at possible reasons for this sluggish recovery of corporate investment in Japan, focusing on the role of Japanese firms overseas.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Financial Crisis, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Reform, 日本語 | Tagged: Abenomics, Bank of Japan, energy, investment, Japan, labor force, manufacturing, structural reform | Leave a comment »
Posted on September 2, 2015 by iMFdirect
This year’s IMF Annual Meetings are going on the road…to Lima, Peru. All the big debates will focus on economics, finance, inequality, financial inclusion, emerging markets, commodities and many more.
Since you’ve been reading gossip magazines at the beach busy this summer, we thought you might like a handy refresher on some of our blogs in recent months about Latin America.
Filed under: Annual Meetings, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Español, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Globalization, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America | Tagged: Annual Meetings, Caribbean, commodities, emerging market, inequality, Latin America, Peru | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 27, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Jeff Hayden
Between 2004 and 2013, Latin America recorded impressive growth and strong progress on a range of social issues. High commodity prices combined with strengthened economic management and progressive social policies to propel the region forward.
This strength was all the more striking against the backdrop of the 2008–09 global financial crisis, which mired many advanced economies in recession but saw emerging markets, including many in Latin America, power ahead. This led some observers to dub the period the “Latin American decade.”
Now, as the world’s economic leaders prepare to gather in Lima, Peru, in October for the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, the picture looks quite different.
Filed under: Annual Meetings, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Español, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Globalization, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America, Reform | Tagged: commodiity prices, corruption, F&D, Finance & Development. F&D, inequality, islamic finance, labor force, Latin America, trade | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 24, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Giovanni Ganelli and Naoko Miake
(Version in 日本語)
Take a walk in Tokyo, and you will see the sign スタッフ募集中, or “Staff Wanted”, outside many restaurants and convenience stores. These businesses often find it impossible to recruit the workers they need. According to recent statistics, for each job seeker in Japan applying to work as a waiter, there are more than three available positions. Home helpers and long-term caregivers are equally in demand. If you want to work as a security guard, you can choose from around five openings, and for some positions in the construction business the job-to-applicant ratio is over six.
Japan’s labor shortages are the result of both a shrinking population—which limits the overall pool of workers—and skill mismatches. The reduced supply of labor is one of the factors bringing down medium-term potential growth, which the International Monetary Fund estimates at just 0.6 percent. Labor market shortages are also bad for short-term growth, because they reduce the effectiveness of the monetary and fiscal stimulus that the authorities are using to try to boost demand.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Asia, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Reform, unemployment | Tagged: Abenomics, female labor participation, immigration, investment, Japan, jobs, labor market, women | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 12, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Francesco Grigoli, Alexander Herman, Andrew Swiston, and Gabriel Di Bella
(Version in Español and Português)
In the wake of the global financial crisis, monetary and fiscal policies were used aggressively to counteract the effects of the crisis on economic activity. Policymakers look at a number of indicators to guide them in assessing an economy’s level of activity relative to its productive capacity. But trying to figure out the position of the economy in real time is often quite challenging, with consequences for setting policy.
In the case of Brazil in 2011, for example, policymakers estimated in real time that the economy was at a level of output consistent with its productive capacity. Over time, however, the assessment of the cyclical position of the Brazilian economy changed drastically. It had not just been at full capacity, but was overheating. The economy was actually facing inflationary pressures, requiring policy tightening to bring it back to the central bank’s target.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Español, Finance, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America, Public debt | Tagged: Brazil, central bank, Chile, Colombia, fiscal policies, inflation, Latin America, macroeconomics, Mexico, monetary policy, Peru | Leave a comment »