Low growth, high inequality, and slow progress on structural reforms are among the key issues that G20 leaders will discuss at their meeting in Hangzhou, China, this weekend. This meeting comes at an important moment for the global economy. The political pendulum threatens to swing against economic openness, and without forceful policy actions, the world could suffer from disappointing growth for a long time. Continue reading
International Women’s Day—March 8—is one of my favorite days. It is a time to celebrate the impressive progress women at all levels of the career ladder have made in recent decades. More women in the labor force, and in more senior positions is good news for women, for their companies, and for their countries’ economies.
A new IMF staff study finds that in Europe, national policies, even taking account of personal preferences, can boost women’s participation in the workforce and enhance their chances for advancement.
Filed under: Employment, Gender issues, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, technology | Tagged: asset returns, Christine Lagarde, corporate ladder, corporate sector, eastern Europe, Europe, gender wage gap, IMF, International Monetary Fund, International Women's Day, labor force, policy, women | Leave a comment »
After a decade of high growth and a swift rebound after the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers, emerging markets are seeing slowing growth. Their average growth is now 1½ percentage points lower than in 2010 and 2011. This is a widespread phenomenon: growth has been slowing in roughly three out of four emerging markets. This share is remarkably high; in the past, such synchronized and persistent slowdowns typically have only occurred during acute crises.
Our analysis attributes the slowdown in part to cyclical forces, including softer external demand and in part to structural bottlenecks, for example in infrastructure, labor markets, power sector. And this has happened in spite of supportive domestic macroeconomic policies, (still) favorable terms of trade, and easy financing conditions, which only began to tighten recently. However, a non-trivial portion of the slowdown remains unexplained, suggesting that other factors common to emerging markets are at play.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Financial Crisis, growth, International Monetary Fund, Public debt | Tagged: emerging market, interest rates, macroeconomics, policy, Program of Seminars, trade | 5 Comments »
By Erik Oppers
This spring monetary policy is the talk of the town. It is everywhere you look, it’s unique, and you’ve never seen anything quite like it before: short-term interest rates at zero for several years running, and central bank balance sheets swelling with government bonds and other assets in the euro area Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
But the meteoric rise of this once dusty topic can’t last. The end of these unconventional monetary policies will come and may pose threats to financial stability because of the length and breadth of their unprecedented reign. Policymakers should be alert to the risks and take gradual and predictable measures to address them.
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic outlook, Economic research, Fiscal policy, International Monetary Fund, Investment | Tagged: banks, bonds, central banks, credit, financial markets, financial stability, Global Financial Stability Report, IMF, iMFdirect, interest rates, International Monetary Fund, Japan, monetary policy, policy, United Kingdom, United States | 1 Comment »
(Version in عربي)
The uprisings that spread across the Middle East and North Africa in 2011 taught us that even rapid economic growth cannot be maintained unless it is inclusive, creates enough jobs for the growing labor force, and is accompanied by policies that protect the most vulnerable. And the absence of transparent and fair rules of the game will inevitably undermine the development process.
Hopes after the revolutions are high and so are people’s expectations. Hence, there is a need to pay more attention to socioeconomic issues in making policy decisions. In my speech today at the Arab Economic Forum in Beirut, I argued that we need an “Economic Spring” to complement what has become known as the “Arab Spring.”
Gloomy picture needs attention
At over 25 percent, the youth unemployment rate in the region’s oil-importing countries exceeds that of any other region in the world—a rate that reaches up to 30 percent in Tunisia and 32 percent in Morocco. Ironically, education in the region is not a guarantee against unemployment. In fact, unemployment tends to increase with schooling, exceeding 15 percent for those with tertiary education in Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia.
Filed under: Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Employment, Finance, growth, IMF, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Middle East, Public debt | Tagged: Arab, ARABSAT, baladi bread, black market, capacity building, Egypt, jobs, Jordan, Labor, Lebanon, Mideast, Morocco, Nemat Shafik, policy, politics, Precautionary and Liquidity Line, Rapid Financing Instrument, smuggling, subsidies, Tunisia, UNDP. World Bank, youth unemployment | 2 Comments »
Nemat Shafik, who took over as IMF Deputy Managing Director in April, says she has been surprised by the vigor of internal policy debate at the IMF. “From the outside looking in, you have the impression that the IMF is a monolith with a very single-minded view of the world. When you are inside the Fund, what is really striking is how active the internal debate is,” she says.
At a time when the global economy is being buffeted by continued uncertainty in Europe, uprisings in the Middle East, and signs of overheating in some emerging market economies, there’s a lot to discuss. And, in addition to global economic problems, the IMF’s work environment has come under increased scrutiny, in particular how women are treated and its professional code of conduct.
In an interview, Ms. Shafik discusses some of these issues Continue reading
Filed under: Africa, Europe, G-20, IMF, International Monetary Fund, LICs, Low-income countries, Middle East | Tagged: Africa, allegations, commodity prices, diversity, economic growth, Egypt, emerging economies, euro zone crisis, G-20, gender, global economy, global imbalances, Greece, IMF, International Monetary Fund, low-income countries, membership, Middle East, mutual assessment, Nemat Shafik, New York Times, overheating, policy, Portugal, poverty, recovery, recruitment, spillover, spillover reports, Tunisia, women | 1 Comment »