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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
A nascent recovery is underway in Thailand following the COVID-19 downturn. Ample policy buffers, underpinned by judicious management of public finances, allowed the authorities to implement a multipronged package of fiscal, monetary, and financial policies to mitigate the COVID-19 impact on households, businesses, and the financial system. This, together with rigorous containment measures, led to a successful flattening of the infection curve during most of 2020. Nevertheless, the pandemic has taken a large toll on the economy, potentially inducing long-term scarring and increasing inequality.
Ms. Manuela Goretti, Mr. Lamin Y Leigh, Aleksandra Babii, Mr. Serhan Cevik, Stella Kaendera, Mr. Dirk V Muir, Sanaa Nadeem, and Mr. Gonzalo Salinas
This departmental paper analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tourism in the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, and Caribbean countries. Many tourism dependent economies in these regions, including small states in the Pacific and the Caribbean, entered the pandemic with limited fiscal space, inadequate external buffers, and foreign exchange revenues extremely concentrated in tourism. The empirical analysis leverages on an augmented gravity model to draw lessons from past epidemics and finds that the impact of infectious diseases on tourism flows is much greater in developing countries than in advanced economies.
Philipp Engler, Nathalie Pouokam, Diego Rodriguez Guzman, and Mrs. Irina Yakadina
Voluntary and government-mandated lockdowns in response to COVID-19 have caused causing drastic reductions in economic activity around the world. We present a parsimonious two-country-SIR model with some degree of substitutability between home and foreign goods, and show that trading partners’ asynchronous entries into the global pandemic induce mutual welfare gains from trade. Those gains are realized through exchange rate adjustments that cause a temporary reallocation of production towards the economy with the lowest infection rate at any point in time. We show that international cooperation over containment policies that aim at optimizing global welfare further enhances the ability of countries to exploit trade opportunities to contain the spread of the pandemic. We characterize the Nash game of strategic choices of containment policies as a prisoners’ dilemma.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

1. The COVID-19 pandemic’s economic impact has deepened against a backdrop of rapidly accelerating cases since June. As of September 16, there were around 5700 confirmed cases and 178 deaths (Text Figure 1). The authorities, with the support of the World Health Organization and other development partners, continue to strengthen the health system and implement a response plan. A partial lockdown1 was instituted after the first confirmed cases in April, but the number of cases accelerated during June-August. The effects of the partial lockdown and a considerably worsened global and regional economic situation (compared to IMF Country Report 20/168) are intensifying already hefty economic pressures.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The global economy is climbing out from the depths to which it had plummeted during the Great Lockdown in April. But with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread, many countries have slowed reopening and some are reinstating partial lockdowns to protect susceptible populations. While recovery in China has been faster than expected, the global economy’s long ascent back to pre-pandemic levels of activity remains prone to setbacks.