The paper provides an overall view of communications across various areas of economic policy, aiming to help country authorities as they increasingly use communications as a policy tool in its own right. The paper identifies frontier communications challenges, drawing on a large body of research on the salient issues. Although communications can never be a substitute for good policies, economic reforms are more likely to fail or even be reversed if they are not understood or accepted by those whom they affect.
Global economic activity is picking up with a long-awaited cyclical recovery in investment, manufacturing, and trade, according to Chapter 1 of this World Economic Outlook. World growth is expected to rise from 3.1 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018. Stronger activity, expectations of more robust global demand, reduced deflationary pressures, and optimistic financial markets are all upside developments. But structural impediments to a stronger recovery and a balance of risks that remains tilted to the downside, especially over the medium term, remain important challenges. Chapter 2 examines how changes in external conditions may affect the pace of income convergence between advanced and emerging market and developing economies. Chapter 3 looks at the declining share of income that goes to labor, including the root causes and how the trend affects inequality. Overall, this report stresses the need for credible strategies in advanced economies and in those whose markets are emerging and developing to tackle a number of common challenges in an integrated global economy.
The global upswing in economic activity is strengthening. Global growth, which in 2016 was the weakest since the global financial crisis at 3.2 percent, is projected to rise to 3.6 percent in 2017 and to 3.7 percent in 2018. The growth forecasts for both 2017 and 2018 are 0.1 percentage point stronger compared with projections earlier this year. Broad-based upward revisions in the euro area, Japan, emerging Asia, emerging Europe, and Russia—where growth outcomes in the first half of 2017 were better than expected—more than offset downward revisions for the United States and the United Kingdom.
But the recovery is not complete: while the baseline outlook is strengthening, growth remains weak in many countries, and inflation is below target in most advanced economies. Commodity exporters, especially of fuel, are particularly hard hit as their adjustment to a sharp step down in foreign earnings continues. And while short-term risks are broadly balanced, medium-term risks are still tilted to the downside. The welcome cyclical pickup
in global activity thus provides an ideal window of opportunity to tackle the key policy challenges—namely to boost potential output while ensuring its benefits are broadly shared, and to build resilience against downside risks. A renewed multilateral effort is also needed to tackle the common challenges of an integrated global economy.
According to the October 2016 "World Economic Outlook," global growth is projected to slow to 3.1 percent in 2016 before recovering to 3.4 percent in 2017. The forecast, revised down by 0.1 percentage point for 2016 and 2017 relative to April’s report, reflects a more subdued outlook for advanced economies following the June U.K. vote in favor of leaving the European Union (Brexit) and weaker-than-expected growth in the United States. These developments have put further downward pressure on global interest rates, as monetary policy is now expected to remain accommodative for longer. Although the market reaction to the Brexit shock was reassuringly orderly, the ultimate impact remains very unclear, as the fate of institutional and trade arrangements between the United Kingdom and the European Union is uncertain. Financial market sentiment toward emerging market economies has improved with expectations of lower interest rates in advanced economies, reduced concern about China’s near-term prospects following policy support to growth, and some firming of commodity prices. But prospects differ sharply across countries and regions, with emerging Asia in general and India in particular showing robust growth and sub-Saharan Africa experiencing a sharp slowdown. In advanced economies, a subdued outlook subject to sizable uncertainty and downside risks may fuel further political discontent, with anti-integration policy platforms gaining more traction. Several emerging market and developing economies still face daunting policy challenges in adjusting to weaker commodity prices. These worrisome prospects make the need for a broad-based policy response to raise growth and manage vulnerabilities more urgent than ever.
Major macroeconomic realignments are affecting prospects differentially across the world’s countries and regions. The April 2016 WEO examines the causes and implications of these realignments—including the slowdown and rebalancing in China, a further decline in commodity prices, a related slowdown in investment and trade, and declining capital flows to emerging market and developing economies—which are generating substantial uncertainty and affecting the outlook for the global economy. Additionally, analytical chapters examine the slowdown in capital flows to emerging market economies since their 2010 peak—its main characteristics, how it compares with past slowdowns, the factors that are driving it, and whether exchange rate flexibility has changed the dynamics of the capital inflow cycle—and assess whether product and labor market reforms can improve the economic outlook in advanced economies, looking at the recent evolution and scope for further reform, the channels through which reforms affect economic activity under strong versus weak economic conditions, reforms’ short- to medium-term macroeconomic effects, and sequencing of reforms and coordination with other policies to maximize their potential quantitative economic benefits. A special feature analyzes in depth the energy transition in an era of low fossil fuel prices.
This issue discusses a number of factors affecting global growth, as well as growth prospects across the world’s main countries and regions. It assesses the ongoing recovery from the global financial crisis in advanced and emerging market economies and evaluates risks, both upside and downside, including those associated with commodity prices, currency fluctuations, and financial market volatility. A special feature examines in detail causes and implications of the recent commodity price downturn; analytical chapters look at the effects of commodity windfalls on potential output and of exchange rate movements on trade.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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The April 2012 edition of the World Economic Outlook assesses the prospects for the global economy, which has gradually strengthened after a major setback during 2011. The threat of a sharp global slowdown eased with improved activity in the United States and better policies in the euro area. Weak recovery will likely resume in the major advanced economies, and activity will remain relatively solid in most emerging and developing economies. However, recent improvements are very fragile. Policymakers must calibrate policies to support growth in the near term and must implement fundamental changes to achieve healthy growth in the medium term. Chapter 3 examines how policies directed at real estate markets can accelerate the improvement of household balance sheets and thus support otherwise anemic consumption. Chapter 4 examines how swings in commodity prices affect commodity exporting economies, many of which have experienced a decade of good growth. With commodity prices unlikely to continue growing at the recent elevated pace, however, these economies may have to adapt their fiscal and other policies to lower potential output growth in the future.
The September 2011 edition of the World Economic Outlook assesses the prospects for the global economy, which is now in a dangerous new phase. Global activity has weakened and become more uneven, confidence has fallen sharply recently, and downside risks are growing. Against a backdrop of unresolved structural fragilities, a barrage of shocks hit the international economy this year, including the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami, unrest in some oil-producing countries, and the major financial turbulence in the euro area. Two of the forces now shaping the global economy are high and rising commodity prices and the need for many economies to address large budget deficits. Chapter 3 examines the inflationary effects of commodity price movements and the appropriate monetary policy response. Chapter 4 explores the implications of efforts by advanced economies to restore fiscal sustainability and by emerging and developing economies to tighten fiscal policy to rebuild fiscal policy room and in some cases to restrain overheating pressures.