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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

Global current account balances—the overall size of headline current account deficits and surpluses—widened for a third consecutive year in 2022. Main drivers were Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the uneven recovery from the pandemic, and the rapid tightening of US monetary policy. Concurrently, the US dollar appreciated substantially, and the uphill capital flow reappeared. IMF’s external sector assessments suggest that the overall size of excess current account deficits and surpluses has remained unchanged since 2021, after declining for several years. This highlights the importance of efforts in both excess surplus and deficit economies to promote external rebalancing. The US dollar appreciation under the “global dollar cycle”, which is driven primarily by global financial risks, has negative spillovers on activity and imports that fall on emerging market economies more severely than on advance economies. More flexible exchange rates and more anchored inflation expectations can mitigate negative spillovers to emerging markets.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

Produced since 2012, the IMF’s annual External Sector Report analyzes global external developments and provides multilaterally consistent assessments of external positions, including current accounts, real exchange rates, external balance sheets, capital flows, and international reserves, of the world’s largest economies, representing over 90 percent of global GDP. Chapter 1 discusses the evolution of global external positions in 2019, external developments during the COVID-19 crisis, and policy priorities for responding to the crisis and for reducing excess imbalances over the medium term. Chapter 2 analyzes the relationship between the structure of external assets and liabilities—the components of the international investment position—and the risk of external stress events. It also assesses how heightened global risk aversion, as during the COVID-19 crisis, amplifies these risks. Chapter 3, “Individual Economy Assessments,” provides details on the different aspects of the overall external assessment and associated policy recommendations for 30 economies. This year’s report and associated external assessments are based on the latest vintage of the External Balance Assessment (EBA) methodology and on data and IMF staff projections as of July 15, 2020.