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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

Chapter 1 of the report draws some early lessons from governments’ fiscal responses to the pandemic and provides a roadmap for the recovery. Governments’ measures to cushion the blow from the pandemic total a staggering $12 trillion globally. These lifelines and the worldwide recession have pushed global public debt to an all-time high. But governments should not withdraw lifelines too rapidly. Government support should shift gradually from protecting old jobs to getting people back to work and helping viable but still-vulnerable firms safely reopen. The fiscal measures for the recovery are an opportunity to make the economy more inclusive and greener. Chapter 2 of this report argues that governments need to scale up public investment to ensure successful reopening, boost growth, and prepare economies for the future. Low interest rates make borrowing to invest desirable. Countries that cannot access finance will, however, need to do more with less. The chapter explains how investment can be scaled up while preserving quality. Increasing public investment by 1 percent of GDP in advanced and emerging economies could create 7 million jobs directly, and more than 20 million jobs indirectly. Investments in healthcare, housing, digitalization, and the environment would lay the foundations for a more resilient and inclusive economy.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

Chapter 1 argues that fiscal policies are at the forefront of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fiscal measures can save lives, protect the most-affected people and firms from the economic impact of the pandemic, and prevent the health crisis from turning into a deep long-lasting slump. A key priority is to fully accommodate spending on health and emergency services. Global coordination is for a universally low-cost vaccine and to support countries with limited health capacity. Large, temporary and targeted support is urgently needed for affected workers and firms until the emergency abates. As the shutdowns end, broad-based, coordinated fiscal stimulus—where financing conditions permit—will become more effective in fostering the recovery. Chapter 2 argues that fiscal policies are at the forefront of facilitating an economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic once the Great Lockdown ends. Policymakers can achieve this objective with IDEAS: Invest for the future—in health systems, infrastructure, low carbon technologies, education, and research; adopt well-planned Discretionary policies that can be deployed quickly; and Enhance Automatic Stabilizers, which are built-in budgetary tax and spending measures that automatically stabilize incomes and consumption. Importantly, improving unemployment benefit systems and social safety nets can protect household incomes from adverse shocks and strengthen resilience against future epidemics. Over the past decade, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have doubled in importance among the world’s largest corporations. They often deliver basic services such as water, electricity, and loans for families and small businesses. At their best, they can help promote higher economic growth and achieve development goals. However, many are a burden to taxpayers and the economy. Chapter 3 discusses what governments can do to get the most out of SOEs. This includes ensuring the firm’s managers have the right incentives and there is effective oversight. It also requires a high degree of transparency of their activities.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The region is seeing a modest growth uptick, but this is not uniform and the medium-term outlook remains subdued. Growth is projected to rise to 3.4 percent in 2018, from 2.8 percent in 2017, on the back of improved global growth, higher commodity prices, and continued strong public spending. About ¾ of the countries in the region are predicted to experience faster growth. Beyond 2018, growth is expected to plateau below 4 percent, modestly above population growth, reflecting continued sluggishness in the oil-exporting countries and sustained growth in non-resource-intensive countries. A number of countries (Burundi, DRC, South Sudan, and parts of the Sahel) remain locked in internal conflict resulting in record levels of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, with adverse spillovers to neighboring countries.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The region is seeing a modest growth uptick, but this is not uniform and the medium-term outlook remains subdued. Growth is projected to rise to 3? percent in 2018, from 2? percent in 2017, on the back of improved global growth, higher commodity prices, and continued strong public spending. About ¾ of the countries in the region are predicted to experience faster growth. Beyond 2018, growth is expected to plateau below 4 percent, modestly above population growth, reflecting continued sluggishness in the oil-exporting countries and sustained growth in non-resource-intensive countries. A number of countries (Burundi, DRC, South Sudan, and parts of the Sahel) remain locked in internal conflict resulting in record levels of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, with adverse spillovers to neighboring countries.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recovered relative to 2016, but the momentum is weak and per capita incomes are expected to barely increase. Further, vulnerabilities have risen in many countries, adding to the urgency of implementing the fiscal consolidations planned in most countries and with stepped up efforts to strengthen growth.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recovered relative to 2016, but the momentum is weak and per capita incomes are expected to barely increase. Further, vulnerabilities have risen in many countries, adding to the urgency of implementing the fiscal consolidations planned in most countries and with stepped up efforts to strengthen growth.

Céline Allard

Abstract

La dynamique de croissance en Afrique subsaharienne demeure fragile, ce qui représente une rupture par rapport à la rapide expansion qui avait été enregistrée depuis le début du millénaire. L’année 2016 a été difficile pour de nombreux pays et la croissance régionale est descendue à 1,4 %, le niveau le plus faible depuis plus de deux décennies. La plupart des exportateurs de pétrole ont été en récession et la conjoncture est restée difficile dans les autres pays riches en ressources naturelles. En revanche, dans les pays pauvres en ressources naturelles la croissance a continué d’être robuste. Grâce à une modeste reprise, la croissance devrait se situer à environ 2,6 % en 2017, niveau toutefois inférieur à celui des tendances passées et trop faible pour remettre l’Afrique subsaharienne sur la voie de l’amélioration des niveaux de vie. La région continue d’offrir un énorme potentiel de croissance, mais la détérioration des perspectives globales tient en partie au caractère insuffisant des ajustements opérés par les pouvoirs publics. Pour mettre en valeur ce potentiel, la région devra mener des politiques saines et avisées qui lui permettront de faire redémarrer le moteur de la croissance.

Céline Allard

Abstract

Growth momentum in sub-Saharan Africa remains fragile, marking a break from the rapid expansion witnessed since the turn of the millennium. 2016 was a difficult year for many countries, with regional growth dipping to 1.4 percent—the lowest level of growth in more than two decades. Most oil exporters were in recession, and conditions in other resource-intensive countries remained difficult. Other nonresource-intensive countries however, continued to grow robustly. A modest recovery in growth of about 2.6 percent is expected in 2017, but this falls short of past trends and is too low to put sub-Saharan Africa back on a path of rising living standards. While sub-Saharan Africa remains a region with tremendous growth potential, the deterioration in the overall outlook partly reflects insufficient policy adjustment. In that context, and to reap this potential, strong and sound domestic policy measures are needed to restart the growth engine.

Mr. Hamid Faruqee

Abstract

La actividad económica en Estados Unidos ha mejorado gracias al impulso del consumo y ha dado un primer paso hacia una normalización gradual de las tasas de interés. La recuperación en Estados Unidos continúa respaldando la actividad en México, América Central y el Caribe, pero la desaceleración en China ha sido perjudicial para la demanda de exportaciones de América del Sur. Al mismo tiempo, los exportadores de materias primas de la región han experimentado nuevos shocks en los términos de intercambio conforme los precios de las materias primas han seguido bajando a escala mundial. En este informe se describen las políticas y las reformas económicas necesarias para abordar la decreciente capacidad productiva en América Latina y el Caribe. En tres capítulos se evalúan, respectivamente, las vulnerabilidades en América Latina, el grado de traspaso de los tipos de cambio en la región y las tendencias de la inversión pública y privada en infraestructura.