Over the past decades ASEAN countries have experienced rapid economic growth accompanied by a dramatic fall in poverty rates, but income inequality has not retreated. This research aims at identifying factors which could contribute to more equally distributed growth in ASEAN. To measure inclusive growth, we use a variable integrating per capita income growth and an equity index. A cross-country panel analysis of the impact of macro-structural factors on inclusive growth and its two components suggests that fiscal redistribution, female labor force participation, productivity growth, FDI inflows, digitalization, and savings significantly drive inclusive growth. A scenario analysis based on our econometric results suggests that the implementation of fiscal redistribution and labor market-oriented structural reforms could help significantly accelerate inclusive growth in ASEAN.
The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted an unprecedented shock on the global economy and created an enormous demand for Fund resources. To accelerate processing and approval of members’ requests in such circumstances, the paper proposes measures to expedite Board consideration and approval of requests for purchases and/or disbursements under the Rapid Financing Instrument and/or the Rapid Credit Facility, respectively, completion of reviews and requests for changes in access in existing arrangements, and requests for assistance under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), by shortening the circulation period for Board documents. The paper also proposes extending the use of the shortened circulation period to selected Article IV consultations necessary for use of Fund resources during a global pandemic. Management will also streamline internal procedures to accelerate program processing and reduce the burden on the Fund’s administrative capacity, and will seek the support of creditors to expedite the processing of financial transactions under COVID-19 emergency financing.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Growth in the first half of 2018 was softer than in 2017, especially in advanced economies. In contrast, growth remained robust in emerging market economies and broadly in line with expectations. After rising to 6.9 percent in 2017, growth in China continued to be strong into the first half of 2018 but has likely slowed since, given the latest high-frequency indicators, including weakening investment growth. In Japan, after exceeding potential for two years, growth dropped into negative territory in the first quarter of 2018 before rebounding sharply in the second quarter. In India, growth continues to recover steadily after the disruptions related to demonetization and the rollout of the goods and services tax in the last fiscal year.1 And in ASEAN-4 economies (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand), growth generally lost momentum in the first half of 2018, except in Thailand.