International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Near-term global financial stability risks have been contained as an unprecedented policy response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has helped avert a financial meltdown and maintain the flow of credit to the economy. For the first time, many emerging market central banks have launched asset purchase programs to support the smooth functioning of financial markets and the overall economy. But the outlook remains highly uncertain, and vulnerabilities are rising, representing potential headwinds to recovery. The report presents an assessment of the real-financial disconnect, as well as forward-looking analysis of nonfinancial firms, banks, and emerging market capital flows. After the outbreak, firms’ cash flows were adversely affected as economic activity declined sharply. More vulnerable firms—those with weaker solvency and liquidity positions and smaller size—experienced greater financial stress than their peers in the early stages of the crisis. As the crisis unfolds, corporate liquidity pressures may morph into insolvencies, especially if the recovery is delayed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are more vulnerable than large firms with access to capital markets. Although the global banking system is well capitalized, some banking systems may experience capital shortfalls in an adverse scenario, even with the currently deployed policy measures. The report also assesses the pandemic’s impact on firms’ environmental performance to gauge the extent to which the crisis may result in a reversal of the gains posted in recent years.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused dramatic loss of human life and major damage to the European economy, but thanks to an exceptionally strong policy response, potentially devastating outcomes have been avoided.
The European recovery is strengthening and broadening appreciably. Real GDP growth is projected at 2.4 percent in 2017, up from 1.7 percent in 2016, before easing to 2.1 percent in 2018. These are large upward revisions—0.5 and 0.2 percentage point for 2017 and 2018, respectively—relative to the April World Economic Outlook. The European recovery is spilling over to the rest of the world, contributing significantly to global growth. In a few advanced and many emerging economies, unemployment rates have returned to precrisis levels. Most emerging market European economies are now seeing robust wage growth. In many parts of Europe, however, wage growth is sluggish despite falling unemployment.
Mr. James Roaf, Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Mr. Bikas Joshi, and Mr. Krzysztof Krogulski
The past 25 years have seen a dramatic transformation in Europe’s former communist countries, resulting in their reintegration with the global economy, and, in most cases, major improvements in living standards. But the task of building full market economies has been difficult and protracted. Liberalization of trade and prices came quickly, but institutional reforms—such as governance reform, competition policy, privatization and enterprise restructuring—often faced opposition from vested interests. The results of the first years of transition were uneven. All countries suffered high inflation and major recessions as prices were freed and old economic linkages broke down. But the scale of output losses and the time taken for growth to return and inflation to be brought under control varied widely. Initial conditions and external factors played a role, but policies were critical too. Countries that undertook more front-loaded and bold reforms were rewarded with faster recovery and income convergence. Others were more vulnerable to the crises that swept the region in the wake of the 1997 Asia crisis.
The recovery in Europe continues, supported by strong policy action to contain sovereign debt problems in the euro area. In advanced Europe, lingering uncertainties and market pressures make for moderate and unequal growth, creating challenges for macroeconomic and financial sector policies. The REO also sheds light on the governance issues revealed by the crisis, arguing that better policy frameworks, in particular at the euro area level, promise a stronger Europe. For the first time, the REO devotes a separate chapter to the outlook for emerging Europe, where, after a deep recession, an export-led recovery is under way. However, the rebound is uneven across the region, and policymakers face the difficult challenge of dealing with the legacies of the crisis, while not hurting the recovery. Beyond the short term, the REO argues that the region will need to find new growth engines, as the capital inflows-driven and credit-fueled domestic demand boom needs to give way to more balanced growth. Indeed, the REO emphasizes that active fiscal policy and coordinated prudential measures are key to avoiding a repeat of the boom-bust cycle the region has just endured.
The confluence of multiple adverse shocks—the turbulence in financial markets, high commodity prices, and the appreciation of the exchange rate—have depressed growth in Europe. At the same time commodity prices increases have boosted headline inflation. While containing inflation remains a major concern, supporting the recovery is likely to gain policy prominence in the advanced economies. Looking forward, improvements in prudential regulation could mitigate the procyclicality of credit standards, which should help reduce macroeconomic volatility. Cross-border labor flows are generally seen to have beneficial macroeconomic effects.
Les Perspectives de l'économie mondiale (PEM) présentent des analyses de l'évolution économique mondiale à court et moyen termes, préparées par les principaux économistes du FMI. Elles constituent une ressource respectée, centrale et fiable d'informations fouillées et équilibrées, permettant aux décideurs et aux dirigeants du monde entier de prendre le recul nécessaire. Publiées deux fois par an, les Perspectives de l’économie mondiale présentent sous une forme claire et pratique les perspectives en matière de croissance, d’inflation, de commerce international et d’emploi, et s'intéressent également à d'autres domaines économiques. Chaque numéro des PEM se penche sur les problèmes qui touchent les pays avancés, émergents et en développement. Les banques centrales, les économistes, les institutions financières, les chefs d’entreprises, les gouvernements, les groupes de réflexion et les chercheurs attendent avec impatience cette étude sans pareille de la situation actuelle et de ce qui se prépare.
This paper highlights that world economic growth is estimated to have declined from 3¼ percent in 1989 to 2 percent in 1990, reflecting a slowdown in the industrial countries and a fall in economic activity in developing countries of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Western Hemisphere. The growth of the world economy is expected to decline further in 1991 (to 1¼ percent) owing to the weakness of some industrial economies, and to further declines in output in the Middle East and in Eastern Europe.