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Gareth Anderson, Paolo Galang, Mr. Andrea Gamba, Leandro Medina, and Tianxiao Zheng
This paper assess how priorities of the IMF’s membership have evolved over the past two decades, by using text mining techniques on a unique dataset combining IMFC communiqués and constituency statements. Our results reveal significant variation in priorities across time and constituencies. Statements can be characterized by the weight which they place on three key priorities: (i) growth; (ii) debt and development; and (iii) crisis management and quota reform. Sentiment analysis techniques also show that addressing climate change is a topic which is viewed positively by an increasing number of constituencies.
Linxi Chen, Ding Ding, and Rui Mano
In late 2015, the Chinese authorities launched a policy to reduce capacity in the coal and steel industries under the wider effort of Supply-Side Structural Reforms. Around the same time, producer price inflation in China started to pick up strongly after being trapped in negative territory for more than fifty consecutive months. So what is behind this strong reflation—capacity cuts in coal and steel, or a strengthening of aggregate demand? Our empirical analyses indicate that a pickup in aggregate demand, possibly due to the government’s stimulus package in 2015-16, was the more important driver. Capacity cuts played a role in propping up coal and steel prices, explaining at most 40 percent of their price increase.
Miss Mali Chivakul and Mr. Waikei R Lam
This paper documents and assesses the risk stemming from rising corporate indebtedness in China using a firm-level dataset of listed firms. It finds that while leverage on average is not high, there is a fat tail of highly leveraged firms accounting for a significant share of total corporate debt, mainly concentrated in the real estate and construction sector and state-owned enterprises in general. The real estate and construction firms tend to face lower borrowing costs and could withstand a modest increase of interest rate shocks despite their high leverage. The corporate sector is however vulnerable to a significant slowdown in the real estate and construction sector. Our sensitivity analysis suggests that the share of debt that would be in financial distress would rise to about a quarter of total listed firm debt in the event of a 20 percent decline in real estate and construction profits.