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Karim Barhoumi, Seung Mo Choi, Tara Iyer, Jiakun Li, Franck Ouattara, Mr. Andrew J Tiffin, and Jiaxiong Yao
The COVID-19 crisis has had a tremendous economic impact for all countries. Yet, assessing the full impact of the crisis has been frequently hampered by the delayed publication of official GDP statistics in several emerging market and developing economies. This paper outlines a machine-learning framework that helps track economic activity in real time for these economies. As illustrative examples, the framework is applied to selected sub-Saharan African economies. The framework is able to provide timely information on economic activity more swiftly than official statistics.
Mr. Adil Mohommad and Evgenia Pugacheva
This paper inquires into how individual attitudes to climate issues and support for climate policies have evolved in the context of the pandemic. Using data from a unique survey of 14,500 individuals across 16 major economies, this study shows that the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic increased concern for climate change and public support for green recovery policies. This suggests that the global health crisis has opened up more space for policy makers in key large economies to implement bolder climate policies. The study also finds that support for climate policies decreases when a person has experienced income and/or job loss during the pandemic. Protecting incomes and livelihoods in the near-term is thus important also from a climate policy perspective.
Mr. Pragyan Deb and Ms. TengTeng Xu
The health and economic impacts of COVID-19 on India have been substantial, with wide variation across states and union territories. This paper quantifies the impact of containment measures and voluntary social distancing on both the spread of the virus and the economy at the state level during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. We construct a de-facto measure of state-level social distancing, combining containment strigency and observed mobility trends. State-level empirical analysis suggests that social distancing and containment measures effectively reduced case numbers, but came with high economic costs. State characteristics, such as health care infrastructure and the share of services in the economy, played an important role in shaping the health and economic outcomes, highlighting the importance of adequate social spending, health care infrastructure, and social safety nets.
Lucyna Gornicka, Ms. Sumiko Ogawa, and Ms. TengTeng Xu
To assess the resilience of India’s corporate sector against COVID-19-related shocks, we conducted a series of stress tests using firm-level corporate balance sheet data. The results reveal a differential impact across sectors, with the most severe impact on contact-intensive services, construction, and manufacturing sectors, and micro, small, and medium enterprises. On policy impact, the results highlight that temporary policy measures have been particularly effective in supporting firm liquidity, but the impact on solvency is less pronounced. On financial sector balance sheets, we found that public sector banks are more vulnerable to stress in the corporate sector, partly due to their weaker starting capital positions. When considering forward-looking multiperiod growth scenarios, we find that the overall corporate performance will depend on the speed of recovery. A slower pace of recovery could lead to persistently high levels of debt at risk, especially in some services and industrial sectors.