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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.


A top challenge facing policymakers today is how to raise productivity, the key driver of living standards over the long term. In advanced economies, productivity growth was declining well before the global financial crisis, and the trend worsened in its aftermath (Figure 2.1). A slowdown in productivity has also taken place in developing countries since the crisis, hampering their convergence process toward higher income levels.1 The IMF’s policy agenda has therefore emphasized the need to employ all policy levers, and in particular to promote growth-friendly fiscal policies that will boost productivity and potential output (IMF 2016a).