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Mr. Federico J Diez, Mr. Romain A Duval, Jiayue Fan, José Garrido, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Chiara Maggi, and Mr. Nicola Pierri
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased insolvency risks, especially among small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are vastly overrepresented in hard-hit sectors. Without government intervention, even firms that are viable a priori could end up being liquidated—particularly in sectors characterized by labor-intensive technologies, threatening both macroeconomic and social stability. This staff discussion note assesses the impact of the pandemic on SME insolvency risks and policy options to address them. It quantifies the impact of weaker aggregate demand, changes in sectoral consumption patterns, and lockdowns on firm balance sheets and estimates the impact of a range of policy options, for a large sample of SMEs in (mostly) advanced economies.
Mr. Ales Bulir, Daniel Baksa, Mr. Juan S Corrales, Andres Gonzalez, Diego Rodriguez, and Dyna Heng
This technical note and manual (TNM) addresses the following issues: • Evaluating the full implications from the policies adopted to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy requires a well-developed macroeconomic framework. This note illustrates how such frameworks were used to analyze Colombia and Cambodia's shock impact at the beginning of the pandemic. • The use of macroeconomic frameworks is not to infer general policy conclusions from abstract models or empirical analysis but to help policymakers think through and articulate coherent forecasts, scenarios, and policy responses. • The two country cases illustrate how to construct a baseline scenario consistent with a COVID-19 shock within structural macroeconomic models. The scenario is built gradually to incorporate the available information, the pandemic's full effects, and the policy responses. • The results demonstrate the value of combining close attention to the data, near-term forecasting, and model-based analyses to support coherent policies.