After close to two decades of strong economic activity, overall growth in sub-Saharan Africa decelerated markedly in 2015–16 as the largest economies experienced negative or flat growth. Regional growth started recovering in 2017, but the question remains of how trends in the economies stuck in low gear will spill over to the countries that have maintained robust growth. This note illuminates the discussion by identifying growth spillover channels. The focus is on trade, banking, financial, remittance, investment, fiscal, and security channels, which are the most prominent and most likely to transmit growth trends across borders. In addition to bringing together findings from a broad array of existing research, the note identifies countries that are the most likely sources of regional spillovers and those that are most likely to be impacted, and provides estimates for the size of these channels. It finds that intraregional trade and remittance flows are an important channel for growth spillovers, while banking channels are less important but will remain a risk going forward. Finally, the note documents other important spillover channels through financial markets contagion, revenue-sharing arrangements in fiscal unions, commodity-pricing policies, corporate investment, and forced migration. The main takeaway is that the level of interdependence among sub-Saharan countries is higher than is generally assumed. Consequently, there is a need for additional emphasis on regional surveillance and spillover analysis, along with traditional bilateral surveillance.
Are fiscal spillovers today as large as they were during the global financial crisis? How do they depend on economic and policy conditions? This note informs the debate on the cross-border impact of fiscal policy on economic activity, shedding light on the magnitude and the factors affecting transmission, such as the fiscal instruments used, cyclical positions, monetary policy conditions, and exchange rate regimes. The note assesses spillovers from five major advanced economies (France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, United States) on 55 advanced and emerging market economies that represent 85 percent of global output, looking at government-spending and tax revenue shocks during expansion and consolidation episodes. It finds that fiscal spillovers are economically significant in the presence of slack and/or accommodative monetary policy—and considerably smaller otherwise, which suggests that spillovers are large when domestic multipliers are also large. It also finds that spillovers from government-spending shocks are larger and more persistent than those from tax shocks and that transmission may be stronger among countries with fixed exchange rates. The evidence suggests that although spillovers from fiscal policies in the current environment may not be as large as they were during the crisis, they may still be important under certain economic circumstances.
This note analyzes the impact of preannounced government spending shocks in the United States on the real effective exchange rate and the trade balance. Using a vector autoregression framework that allows anticipated fiscal shocks to be identified using survey information, we find that preannounced spending shocks lead to a sizable real effective dollar appreciation and a worsening of both the aggregate trade balance and bilateral trade balances in a panel of partner countries. The results are robust to controlling for country-specific variables like the macroeconomic and policy conditions in the recipient countries, are generalized across regions and might have decreased during the zero-interest-lower-bound regime.
Until recently, China has been the leading contributor to global economic growth and—since the recent global financial crisis—a stabilizing driver of its evolution. However, as China recently began to rebalance its economy away from investment and exports and toward consumption, its GDP growth slowed significantly—partly reversing the country’s contribution to global output and trade growth—and is expected to continue to decline gradually over the medium term. There is little consensus regarding the consequences of a China’s growth slowdown for the rest of the world, with some arguing that a significant slowdown in China may have large implications and possibly lead to a worldwide recession if the “rebalancing” process is not well managed, and others suggesting that even a significant slowdown in China is unlikely to have large global effects, as its role in the world economy is still limited This note contributes to the ongoing debate by analyzing how growth shocks in China affect particular regions and country groups and how the impact and key transmission channels of these growth shocks have increased over time. It finds that historically, the average impact of growth shocks in China on global output has been statistically significant but limited, but since the early 2000s, the magnitude of spillovers has significantly increased. Trade linkages remain the main transmission channels, with larger effects for net commodity exporters and countries mostly exporting manufacturing goods. Also, spillover effects tend to be larger during periods of high global uncertainty and have been positively associated with an increase in the share of industry in total value in China, which suggests an important role of the “rebalancing” process.