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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Hong Kong SAR’s economy is recovering strongly as ample policy space has allowed the enaction of swift and bold policy responses to address the unprecedented crisis emanating from multiple shocks, including notably the pandemic. But the recovery remains uneven, with private consumption lagging, owing, in part, to a zero- COVID tolerance approach. The financial sector has remained resilient supported by significant buffers, strong institutional frameworks, and a well-functioning Linked Exchange Rate System (LERS). Increasing financial linkages with Mainland China bring both opportunities and challenges for growth and financial stability.
Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov
We show empirical evidence that there may not be a tradeoff between market income inequality and high sustained growth, which is key for poverty alleviation. We argue that the economies that achieved high sustained growth and low market income inequality are characterized by dynamism—a drive toward sophisticated export industries, innovation, and creative destruction and a high level of competition. What a country produces and how much it competes domestically and internationally are important for achieving fair and inclusive markets. We explore policy options to steer industrial and market structures toward providing growth opportunities for both workers and firms.
IMF Research Perspective (formerly published as IMF Research Bulletin) is a new, redesigned online newsletter covering updates on IMF research. In the inaugural issue of the newsletter, Hites Ahir interviews Valeria Cerra; and they discuss the economic environment 10 years after the global financial crisis. Research Summaries cover the rise of populism; economic reform; labor and technology; big data; and the relationship between happiness and productivity. Sweta C. Saxena was the guest editor for this inaugural issue.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This issue of the IMF Research Bulletin opens with a letter from the new editor, Rabah Arezki. The Research Summaries are a "Primer on 'Global Liquidity'" (Eugenio Cerutti, Stijn Claessens, and Lev Ratnovski); and "Trade Integration adn Business Cycle Synchronization" (Kevin Cheng, Romain Duval, and Dulani Senevirante). The Q&A column looks at "Seven Questions on the Global Housing Markets" (Hites Ahir, Heedon Kang, and Prakash Loungani). September 2014 issue of the Bulletin also includes updates on IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from the IMF Bookstore, as well as special announcements on new staff publications and the Fifteenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference. Also included is information on the latest issue of “IMF Economic Review” with a link to an article by Paul Krugman.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper uncovers the factors behind the unprecedented widening of India’s current account deficit in terms of the sectoral savings-investment balance. The unprecedented widening of India’s current account deficit in recent years is a symptom of underlying macroeconomic imbalances and structural weaknesses. Persistently high inflation has depressed real returns, prompting a surge in gold imports and a marked deterioration in household financial savings and the savings-investment balance. In turn, improvement in the public sector’s savings-investment balance was achieved through capital spending cuts, as subsidies remained high and fuel price adjustments lagged. Further efforts to increase financial savings would help reduce the current account deficit sustainably and boost growth.
Mr. Ravi Balakrishnan, Mr. Chad Steinberg, and Mr. Murtaza H Syed
This paper assesses how pro-poor and inclusive Asia’s recent growth has been, and what factors have been driving these outcomes. It finds that while poverty has fallen across the region over the last two decades, inequality has increased, dampening the impact of growth on poverty reduction. As a result, relative to other emerging and developing regions and to Asia’s own past, the recent period of growth has been both less inclusive and less pro-poor. Our analysis suggests a number of policies that could help redress these trends and broaden the benefits of growth in Asia. These include fiscal policies to increase spending on health, education, and social safetynets; labor market reforms to boost the labor share of total income; and reforms to make financial systems more inclusive.
Rahul Anand, Mr. Saurabh Mishra, and Mr. Shanaka J Peiris
We estimate a unified measure of inclusive growth for emerging markets by integrating their economic growth performance and income distribution outcomes, using data over three decades. Country distributions are calibrated by combining PPP GDP per capita and income distribution from survey data. We apply the microeconomic concept of a social mobility function at the macroeconomic level to measure inclusive growth that is closer to the absolute definition of pro-poor growth. This dynamic measure permits us to focus on inequality as well as distinguish between countries where per capita income growth was the same for the top and the bottom of the income pyramid, by accounting for the pace of growth. Our results indicate that macroeconomic stability, human capital, and structural changes are foundations for achieving inclusive growth. The role of globalization could also be positive with foreign direct investment and trade openess fostering greater inclusiveness, while financial deepening and technological change have no discernible effect.