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Mrs. Sage De Clerck and Tobias Wickens

Abstract

The 2007–09 international financial crisis underscored the importance of reliable and timely statistics on the general government and public sectors. Government finance statistics are a basis for fiscal analysis and they play a vital role in developing and monitoring sound fiscal programs and in conducting surveillance of economic policies. The Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014 represents a major step forward in clarifying the standards for compiling and presenting fiscal statistics and strengthens the worldwide effort to improve public sector reporting and transparency.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

Global growth remains moderate and uneven, and a number of complex forces are shaping the outlook. These include medium- and long-term trends, global shocks, and many country- or region-specific factors. The April 2015 WEO examines the causes and implications of recent trends, including lower oil prices, which are providing a boost to growth globally and in many oil-importing countries but are weighing on activity in oil-exporting countries, and substantial changes in exchange rates for major currencies, reflecting variations in country growth rates and in exchange rate policies and the lower price of oil. Additionally, analytical chapters explore the growth rate of potential output across advanced and emerging market economies, assessing its recent track and likely future course; and the performance of private fixed investment in advanced economies, which has featured prominently in the public policy debate in recent years, focusing on the role of overall economic weakness in accounting for this performance.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The pace of recovery has disappointed in recent years, and downside risks have increased, including from heightened geopolitical tensions. These increased risks make it a priority to raise actual and potential growth. In a number of economies, an increase in public infrastructure investment can also provide support to demand and help boost potential output. And in advanced economies as well as emerging and developing economies there is a general, urgent need for structural reforms to strengthen growth potential or make growth more sustainable. The four individual chapters examine the overall global outlook, the prospects for individual countries and regions, the benefits of increased public infrastructure investment in terms of raising output, and the extent to which global imbalances have narrowed significantly since their peak in 2006.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

Global activity has broadly strengthened and is expected to improve further in 2014–15, according to the April 2014 WEO, with much of the impetus for growth coming from advanced economies. Although downside risks have diminished overall, lower-than-expected inflation poses risks for advanced economies, there is increased financial volatility in emerging market economies, and increases in the cost of capital will likely dampen investment and weigh on growth. Advanced economy policymakers need to avoid a premature withdrawal of monetary accommodation. Emerging market economy policymakers must adopt measures to changing fundamentals, facilitate external adjustment, further monetary policy tightening, and carry out structural reforms. The report includes a chapter that analyzes the causes of worldwide decreases in real interest rates since the 1980s and concludes that global rates can be expected to rise in the medium term, but only moderately. Another chapter examines factors behind the fluctuations in emerging market economies’ growth and concludes that strong growth in China played a key role in buffering the effects of the global financial crisis in these economies.

International Monetary Fund
By combating malaria with mosquito nets or building schools and providing basic sanitation, philanthropy is helping transform the developing world. Rich donors are devoting fortunes—many of them earned through computer software, entertainment, and venture capitalism— to defeating poverty and improving lives, supplementing and in some cases surpassing official aid channels.From billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to Aliko Dangote and George Soros, the titans of capitalism are backing good causes with their cash. Whether financing new vaccines, building libraries, or buying up Amazon rain forest to protect the environment, philanthropists are supporting innovations and new approaches that are changing lives and building dreams.This issue of F&D looks at the world of targeted giving and social entrepreneurship.“ Philanthropy’s role is to get things started,” says Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who is the world’s most generous giver. “We used foundation funds to set up a system to make market forces work in favor of the poor.” He says that catalytic philanthropy can make a big difference. “Good ideas need evangelists. Forgotten communities need advocates.” Former U.S. President Bill Clinton tells us that networks of creative cooperation between government, business, and civil society can get things done better to solve the world’s most pressing problems.Also in this issue, Prakash Loungani profiles superstar economist Jeffrey Sachs, who helped campaign for debt relief for developing economies and championed the Millennium Development Goals. We look at how, instead of spending commodity price windfalls on physical investments, which are often sources of corruption, governments of poor countries are sometimes well advised to hand some of the income over to their citizens. We examine moves by major central banks to ease our way out of the crisis enveloping advanced economies in our Data Spotlight column, and we hear about how China’s growth inspires creativity in the West.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
'Crisis Shakes Europe: Stark Choices Ahead' looks at the harsh toll of the crisis on both Europe's advanced and emerging economies because of the global nature of the shocks that have hit both the financial sector and the real economy, and because of Europe's strong regional and global trade links. Marek Belka, Director of the IMF's European Department, writes in our lead article that beyond the immediate need for crisis management, Europe must revisit the frameworks on which the European Union is based because many have been revealed to be flawed or missing. But in many respects, one key European institution has proved its mettle—the euro. Both Charles Wyplosz and Barry Eichengreen discuss the future of the common currency. Also in this issue, IMF economists rank the current recession as the most severe in the postwar period; John Lipsky, the Fund's First Deputy Managing Director, examines the IMF's role in a postcrisis world; and Giovanni Dell'Ariccia assesses what we have learned about how to manage asset price booms to prevent the bust that has caused such havoc. In addition, we talk to Oxford economist Paul Collier about how to help low-income countries during the current crisis, while Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, writes about how African policymakers can prepare to take advantage of a global economic recovery. 'Picture This' looks at what happens when aggressive monetary policy combats a crisis; 'Back to Basics' gives a primer on fiscal policy; and 'Data Spotlight' takes a look at the recent large swings in commodity prices.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
'Commodity Boom: How Long Will It Last?' asks how economies will fare after the record-high prices of key raw materials posted in recent months, which build on dramatic increases from their lows of 2000. The lead article warns that the impact on headline inflation levels might persist throughout 2008, even without further commodity price hikes. It urges policymakers to ensure efficient functioning of market forces at the global level, and to move swiftly to protect the poorest. Another article addresses the effects of climate change on agriculture, warning that farm production will fall dramatically—especially in developing countries—if steps are not taken to curb carbon emissions. Other articles on this theme argue that policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions need not hobble economies, and that financial markets can help address climate change. 'People in Economics' profiles John Taylor; 'Picture This' says the global energy system is on an increasingly unsustainable path; 'Country Focus' spotlights South Africa; and 'Straight Talk' examines early warnings provided by credit derivatives. Also in this issue, articles examine China's increasing economic engagement with Africa, and the outsourcing of service jobs to other countries.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Financial Soundness Indicators (FSIs) are measures that indicate the current financial health and soundness of a country's financial institutions, and their corporate and household counterparts. FSIs include both aggregated individual institution data and indicators that are representative of the markets in which the financial institutions operate. FSIs are calculated and disseminated for the purpose of supporting macroprudential analysis--the assessment and surveillance of the strengths and vulnerabilities of financial systems--with a view to strengthening financial stability and limiting the likelihood of financial crises. Financial Soundness Indicators: Compilation Guide is intended to give guidance on the concepts, sources, and compilation and dissemination techniques underlying FSIs; to encourage the use and cross-country comparison of these data; and, thereby, to support national and international surveillance of financial systems.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.