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Lien Laureys, Mr. Roland Meeks, and Boromeus Wanengkirtyo
We reconsider the design of welfare-optimal monetary policy when financing frictions impair the supply of bank credit, and when the objectives set for monetary policy must be simple enough to be implementable and allow for effective accountability. We show that a flexible inflation targeting approach that places weight on stabilizing inflation, a measure of resource utilization, and a financial variable produces welfare benefits that are almost indistinguishable from fully-optimal Ramsey policy. The macro-financial trade-off in our estimated model of the euro area turns out to be modest, implying that the effects of financial frictions can be ameliorated at little cost in terms of inflation. A range of different financial objectives and policy preferences lead to similar conclusions.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is still unfolding around the globe. In Asia, as elsewhere, the virus has ebbed in some countries but surged in others. The global economy is beginning to recover after a sharp contraction in the second quarter of 2020, as nationwide lockdowns are lifted and replaced with more targeted containment measures.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Research Summaries in this issue of the IMF Research Bulletin cover “Tax Capacity and Growth” (by Vitor Gaspar, Laura Jaramillo, and Philippe Wingender), and “U.S. Shale Revolution and Its Spillover Effects on the Global Economy” (Ravi Balakrishnan, Keiko Honjo, Akito Matsumoto, and Andrea Pescatori). The Q&A coauthored by Amadou Sy and Mariama Sow covers “Seven Questions about the Relationship between Country Finance and Governance.” A listing of recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from IMF Publications is included in the IMF Research Bulletin. Readers can also find news on free-to-view articles from IMF Economic Review and a call for conference papers in this issue of the Bulletin.
Rui Mano
This paper assesses the spillovers from different facets of China rebalancing using a calibrated Ricardian trade model that includes 41 economies, each consisting of 34 sectors. We find that China’s move up the value chain in particular has the potential for significant spillovers – on the one hand, adversely affecting industrialized economies heavily involved in the Asia value chain, while at the same time generating positive spillovers to lower and middle income countries. The model’s strength lies in endogenously capturing production value chains and international trade of goods across sectors.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper discusses the oil economy, outlook, and risk for Norway. Growth has continued to slow in the mainland economy. At the start of this year, oil prices had dropped by roughly 60 percent from their peak in June 2014 to less than US$40 a barrel. The labor market is feeling the sting of the oil price crash. The krone has weakened substantially along with the decline in oil prices. However, a modest recovery should take root next year. Mainland economy growth should be about 1 percent this year and pick up to close to 1¾ percent in 2017.
Aqib Aslam, Samya Beidas-Strom, Mr. Rudolfs Bems, Oya Celasun, and Zsoka Koczan
Commodity prices have declined sharply over the past three years, and output growth has slowed considerably among countries that are net exporters of commodities. A critical question for policy makers in these economies is whether commodity windfalls influence potential output. Our analysis suggests that both actual and potential output move together with commodity terms of trade, but that actual output comoves twice as strongly as potential output. The weak commodity price outlook is estimated to subtract 1 to 2¼ percentage points from actual output growth annually on average during 2015-17. The forecast drag on potential output is about one-third of that for actual output.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses prospects for potential growth, house prices, household debt, and financial stability risks, and tax policy reforms in New Zealand. Despite having world-class institutions and strong policy framework, income levels remain low relative to other Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. During 1980–2014, per capita income levels have remained about 20 percent below the OECD's average income. Longstanding structural issues need to be addressed to boost potential growth. House prices and household debt have increased rapidly in New Zealand over the past two decades. New Zealand's low national saving rate is a source of vulnerability and likely contributes to the relatively high interest rates needed to attract foreign capital.
International Monetary Fund
Structural policies have become a prominent feature of today’s macroeconomic policy discussion. For many countries, lackluster economic growth and high unemployment cloud the outlook. With fewer traditional policy options, policymakers are increasingly focused on the complementary role of structural policies in promoting more durable job-rich growth. In particular, the G20 has emphasized the essential role of structural reforms in ensuring strong, sustainable and balanced growth. Against this backdrop, the 2014 Triennial Surveillance Review (TSR) called for further work to enhance the Fund’s ability to selectively provide more expert analysis and advice on structural issues, particularly where there is broad interest among member countries. The purpose of this paper is to engage the Board on staff’s post-TSR work toward strengthening the Fund’s capacity to analyze and, where relevant, offer policy advice on macro-relevant structural issues.