The COVID-19 pandemic is inflicting high and rising human costs worldwide, and the necessary protection measures are severely impacting economic activity. As a result of the pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by –3 percent in 2020, much worse than during the 2008–09 financial crisis. In a baseline scenario--which assumes that the pandemic fades in the second half of 2020 and containment efforts can be gradually unwound--the global economy is projected to grow by 5.8 percent in 2021 as economic activity normalizes, helped by policy support. The risks for even more severe outcomes, however, are substantial. Effective policies are essential to forestall the possibility of worse outcomes, and the necessary measures to reduce contagion and protect lives are an important investment in long-term human and economic health. Because the economic fallout is acute in specific sectors, policymakers will need to implement substantial targeted fiscal, monetary, and financial market measures to support affected households and businesses domestically. And internationally, strong multilateral cooperation is essential to overcome the effects of the pandemic, including to help financially constrained countries facing twin health and funding shocks, and for channeling aid to countries with weak health care systems.
After strong growth in 2017 and early 2018, global
economic activity slowed notably in the second half
of last year, reflecting a confluence of factors affecting
major economies. China’s growth declined following
a combination of needed regulatory tightening to rein
in shadow banking and an increase in trade tensions
with the United States. The euro area economy lost
more momentum than expected as consumer and
business confidence weakened and car production in
Germany was disrupted by the introduction of new
emission standards; investment dropped in Italy as
sovereign spreads widened; and external demand,
especially from emerging Asia, softened. Elsewhere,
natural disasters hurt activity in Japan. Trade tensions
increasingly took a toll on business confidence and, so,
financial market sentiment worsened, with financial
conditions tightening for vulnerable emerging markets
in the spring of 2018 and then in advanced economies
later in the year, weighing on global demand. Conditions
have eased in 2019 as the US Federal Reserve
signaled a more accommodative monetary policy
stance and markets became more optimistic about a
US–China trade deal, but they remain slightly more
restrictive than in the fall.
The past year was one of growing economic anxiety tied to skepticism about both economic integration and an international approach to economic policy making. To help make globalization work for all, the IMF focused on providing policy advice in many macro-critical areas.
Countries implementing International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for loan loss provisioning by banks have been guided by two different approaches: International Accounting Standards (IAS) 39 and Basel standards. This paper discusses the different accounting and regulatory approaches in loan loss provisioning, and the challenges supervisors face when there are different perspectives and lack of guidance from IFRS. It suggests actions that supervisors can take to help banks meet regulatory and capital requirements and, at the same time, comply with accounting principles.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This year, we mark the 70th anniversary of the IMF and World Bank and the 50th anniversary of F&D. The world has seen a staggering amount of change in the past seven decades. So, with these two anniversaries in mind we focused our attention on the transformation of the global economy—looking back and looking ahead. What will the global economy look like in another 70 years? Five Nobel laureates—George Akerlof, Paul Krugman, Robert Solow, Michael Spence, and Joseph Stiglitz—share their thoughts on which single “frontier” issue promises to shape the economic landscape in the years ahead. In “A World of Change,” Ayhan Kose and Ezgi Ozturk chart the economic transformations of the past 70 years. Martin Wolf looks at the perils and promise of globalization in “Shaping Globalization.” IMF Chief Christine Lagarde charts a course for the IMF in the next decade in Straight Talk IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard distills the lessons of the 2008 global financial crisis in “Where Danger Lurks.” This issue also features cartoonist Nick Galifianakis and Joe Procopio telling the story of the IMF’s origins in a seven-page comic. The People in Economics series profiles a giant in economics—Nobel winner and Stanford professor Ken Arrow, who built on an early passion for math and work in meteorology during World War II to launch a storied career in economics. Articles on the future of energy in the global economy by Jeffrey Ball and on measuring inequality—the most hotly debated economic issue of recent days—by Jonathan Ostry and Andrew Berg round out the package.
The World Economic Outlook (WEO) presents the IMF’s leading economists’ analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium terms. It is a respected, one-stop, trusted resource offering remarkable insight, balance, and perspective to decision makers and policymakers worldwide. Published twice yearly, the World Economic Outlook presents the outlook for growth, inflation, trade, employment, and other economic developments in a clear, practical format. Each WEO considers the issues affecting advanced, emerging market, and developing economies. Central bankers, economists, Financial institutions, business leaders, governments, think tanks, and researchers eagerly await this unique investigation of what’s happening and what’s ahead.
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.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
"Latin America: An End to Boom and Bust?" covers prospects in that region, which has managed to sustain a decade of prosperity after a history of boom and bust cycles. In our cover story, Nicolás Eyzaguirre, Director of the IMF's Western Hemisphere Department, says Latin America has the potential to become an increasingly important global player. But boosting productivity and competitiveness remain key policy challenges and the fruits of success must be more broadly shared. Other articles on our cover theme look at the prospects for Brazil, inequality in Latin America, and how to raise productivity. Turning from Latin America, we interview former IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus, former IMF MD and now head of a group of luminaries tasked with generating ideas on how to make the global monetary system more stable in the wake of the world financial crisis. This issue of F&D also features articles on financial market cycles, public investment in infrastructure, whether to worry about inflation or deflation, democracy and liberalization, how to manage health care spending, and rising food prices. People in Economics profiles growth guru Robert Solow, winner of the 1987 Nobel Prize in economics. Our regular Back to Basics feature explains financial services. Data Spotlight looks at how access to financial services is growing in developing countries; and Picture This highlights the IMF's new database of public debt since 1880.