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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.

Mr. Jiaqian Chen, Maksym Chepeliev, Mr. Daniel Garcia-Macia, Ms. Dora M Iakova, Mr. James Roaf, Ms. Anna Shabunina, Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
This paper aims to contribute to the debate on the choice of policies to reach the more ambitious 2030 emission reduction goals currently under consideration. It provides an analysis of the macroeconomic and distributional impacts of different options to scale up the mitigation effort, and proposes enhancements to the existing EU policies. A key finding is that a well-designed package, consisting of more extensive carbon pricing across EU countries and sectors, combined with cuts in distortionary taxes and targeted green investment support, would allow the EU to reach the emission goals with practically no effects on aggregate income. To enhance the social and political acceptance of climate policies, part of the revenue from carbon pricing should be used to compensate the most vulnerable households and to support the transition of workers to greener jobs. A carbon border adjustment mechanism could complement the package to avoid an increase in emissions outside the EU due to higher carbon prices in the EU (“carbon leakage”). From a risk-reward perspective, the benefits of reducing the risk of extreme life-threatening climate events and the health benefits from lower air pollution clearly outweigh the costs of mitigation policies.
International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

NEOLIBERALISM IS NOW the go-to moniker for everything that went wrong in the late 20th century and the new millennium. Often a term of abuse, it is a synonym for a crassly materialistic and superficial belief in the inherent superiority of markets. Its standard bearers were British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and US President Ronald Reagan.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

2017 Article IV Consultation - Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Myanmar

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

2017 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Jordan

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic outcomes in Sierra Leone have deteriorated sharply over the past two years. Growth declined dramatically from 20.7 percent in 2013, to 4.6 percent in 2014, and further to -21.1 percent in 2015. The budget is under severe pressure. Between mid-2014 and end-2015, the Leone depreciated 22 percent against the U.S. dollar. Banking sector vulnerabilities have increased. Living standards have also deteriorated significantly since late 2014. The medium-term outlook is somewhat positive, with growth projected to recover to 4.3 percent in 2016, increasing gradually to about 6.5 percent by 2020.

Mr. Niklas J Westelius
The constraints that external linkages impose on domestic policy choices in Saudi Arabia have continuously evolved over the past four decades. This paper argues that two major ongoing developments in particular have affected and will continue to affect policy trade-offs. First, growing oil needs of emerging market economies (EMEs), and specifically those of developing Asia, have strengthened economic links between the Far East and Saudi Arabia. Second, financial sector development in Saudi Arabia has gradually strengthened the monetary transmission mechanism. The former implies the increased importance of developing Asia’s growth cycle for the Saudi economy, while the latter suggests greater influence of U.S. monetary policy on the non-oil economy through the peg to the U.S dollar. As a result, divergence between the growth cycles in developing Asia and the United States has the potential to increasingly generate tension between policy objectives in Saudi Arabia.
S. V. S. Dixit and Mr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari
This paper uses a set of routinely collected high-frequency data in low-income countries (LICs) to construct an aggregate and a comprehensive index of economic activity which could serve (i) as a measure of the direction of economic activity; and (ii) as a useful input in analyzing contemporaneous real sector performance in LICs in the absence of high-frequency, and often outdated, GDP data. It could also serve as a useful tool for policymakers to gauge short-term dynamics of economic activity and shape appropriate and timely policy responses.