Posted on July 26, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Yasser Abdih
There was a time when U.S. central bankers worried that inflation was too high, and they tried to bring it down. Now the opposite is true: the Federal Reserve is concerned that inflation has remained stubbornly low, and it’s trying to boost prices. The reason: persistently low inflation raises the risk that prices will actually start to decline, a dangerous condition known as deflation. That’s bad news because it makes people less willing to borrow and spend—anticipating lower prices, consumers will put off spending—and could also lead to a fall in wages. Continue reading
Filed under: Advanced Economies, inflation, International Monetary Fund, U.S. | Tagged: borrowing, Canada, China, core inflation, deflation, exports, Federal Reserve, IMF, inflation, Mexico, Philips Curve, spending, U.S., United States | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 11, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Yan Carrière-Swallow and Bertrand Gruss
(Versions in Español and Português)
Falling global commodity prices and the normalization of monetary policy in the United States have contributed to widespread currency depreciations in Latin America. In theory, a falling currency is expected to create inflation by driving up the price of imported goods and services—triggering what economists call exchange rate pass-through.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, banking, inflation, International Monetary Fund, Latin America | Tagged: advanced economies, central banks, Diálogo a Fondo, exchange rate pass-through, exchange rate regimes, IMF, inflation, inflation targeting, infrastructure, International Monetary Fund, Latin America, monetary policy, wages | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 10, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Rahul Anand and Paul Cashin
After being low for decades, inflation in India trended higher from the mid-2000s. It reached 10–11 percent by 2008, and remained elevated at double digits for several years. Even though inflation fell by almost half in 2014, inflation expectations have remained high.
High and persistent inflation in recent years has presented serious macroeconomic challenges in India, increasing the country’s domestic and external vulnerabilities. As Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan pointed out at the 8th R.N. Kao Memorial Lecture in 2014, “inflation is a destructive disease … we can’t push inflation under the carpet as a central banker. We have to deal with it.”
Filed under: Asia, Emerging Markets, IMF, Inequality, inflation, International Monetary Fund, LICs | Tagged: demand, food prices, food supply, growth, households, IMF, India, inequality, inflation, International Monetary Fund, Reserve Bank of India | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 25, 2016 by iMFdirect
By Jeff Hayden
(Versions in عربي and Español)
Say “population growth” and many people immediately think of resources under stress. The mind jumps to 19th century scholar Thomas Malthus, who saw population outstripping the food supply, or to Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book The Population Bomb warned of global catastrophe from overpopulation.
Filed under: Africa, China, Employment, Fiscal policy, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: demographics, El Nino, employment, Finance & Development magazine, fiscal policy, inflation, oil prices, population aging, Sub-Saharan Africa, wages, women | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 5, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Changyong Rhee
(Version in 中文 and Español)
From advanced economy financial markets to developing country commodity producers, the world has closely followed developments in China in recent months. After 35 years of extraordinarily rapid growth, the Chinese economy is undergoing a major transition from export-led growth to a model increasingly driven by consumption and services, with less emphasis on debt-financed public investment.
Filed under: Asia, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund | Tagged: China, economic transition, financial sector, growth, IMF, inflation | 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 »
Posted on July 1, 2015 by iMFdirect
By Stefan Laseen, Andrea Pescatori, and Jarkko Turunen
Academics and policy-makers alike have long struggled with the question of whether to use monetary policy to dampen asset price booms – whether to “lean against the wind” or not. Can officials identify emerging asset price bubbles, what are the implications of bursting them, and is monetary policy the appropriate response to potential bubbles? These questions have become even more important to the policy debate in the wake of the global financial crisis, which was preceded by an unsustainable boom in sub-prime mortgage lending and housing prices.
Given over six years of near zero policy interest rates, should the U.S. Fed now use interest rates to lean against potential financial stability risks that may have built up?
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Employment, Finance, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Government, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics | Tagged: Federal Reserve, financial risks, financial stability, inflation, interest rates, investment, macroprudential policy, U.S., U.S. Fed, United States | Leave a comment »