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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Global activity has slowed, and the expansion has become more uneven with increasing downside risks, accompanied by bouts of global financial market volatility. Although the transient factors that contributed to the slowdown in the first half of the year will dissipate, the loss of confidence associated with perceived policy paralysis in many advanced economies along with deepening balance sheet fragilities will hold back growth going forward. These factors have already unnerved markets in recent weeks. Growth in emerging economies has thus far been somewhat more resilient, though there are increasing signs of moderation as global financial conditions have deteriorated.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Growth during the first half of 2011 was robust, supported by easy external financing, favorable terms of trade for commodity exporters, and lingering effects of past accommodative policies. However, the shift in the global economic environment and bouts of market volatility pose major challenges for policymakers. Although the slowdown in advanced economies is projected to have a moderate effect on growth in most countries, large downside risks to the outlook loom. In this context, policymakers should remain vigilant to overheating, and rebuild policy buffers used during the global crisis, since a rapid shift in global sentiment may require more supportive policies. In a downside scenario, monetary policy should be the first line of defense for countries with credible frameworks, while fiscal easing should be utilized only if severe downside risks materialize. Prospects are weaker in countries with closer links with advanced economies and limited policy space.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

As a net commodity-exporting region, Latin America—and especially South America—has significantly benefited from the commodity price boom of recent years. At the current juncture, however, uncertain global economic prospects have raised questions about its vulnerability to a sharp fall in commodity prices and the policies that can shield it from such a shock. This chapter examines the region’s commodity dependence and the history of commodity price busts in the last four decades to address these questions. Despite shifting trade structures in some countries, Latin America is—on average—as reliant on commodities today as 40 years ago. With commodities responding sensitively to global output fluctuations, the region is particularly vulnerable to a global economic slowdown. However, we find evidence that policies in the run-up of sharp terms of trade drops—especially when those are preceded by booms—play an important role in shaping the economic impact. Limited exchange rate flexibility, a weak external position, and loose fiscal policy tend to amplify the negative effects of these shocks on domestic output. Financial dollarization also appears to act as a shock “amplifier.” With improved fundamentals in many of these dimensions, the region appears to be better placed to withstand a turnaround in commodity prices today than in the past.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper provides a brief overview of the latest research on the ability of forecasters to predict recessions. The paper highlights that few recessions have been forecast before their onset. Forecasters tend to be excessively cautious and do not revise their forecasts promptly and sufficiently to reflect incoming news. Nor do they fully take into account interdependence among economies. This paper also focuses on robust growth determinants highlighting that a fundamental problem confronting researchers is the lack of an explicit theory identifying the determinants of growth.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the United State’s (U.S.) household savings role in supporting the U.S. recovery; and focuses on the market for single-family housing, and the importance for household balance sheets. It discusses the underfunding of corporate pension plans, macroeconomic, and policy implications; the U.S. fiscal position, and reviews the causes of the fiscal crisis. It examines the impact of energy shocks, energy policy, and the taxation role. It analyzes the growth in linkages between the United States and other G-7 countries, and the regional and bilateral trade links issues.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper discusses the oil economy, outlook, and risk for Norway. Growth has continued to slow in the mainland economy. At the start of this year, oil prices had dropped by roughly 60 percent from their peak in June 2014 to less than US$40 a barrel. The labor market is feeling the sting of the oil price crash. The krone has weakened substantially along with the decline in oil prices. However, a modest recovery should take root next year. Mainland economy growth should be about 1 percent this year and pick up to close to 1¾ percent in 2017.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

A pesar del reciente deterioro del entorno económico mundial, las proyecciones para la región indican tan solo un debilitamiento moderado de las perspectivas. En la edición de octubre de 2011 de Perspectivas económicas: Las Américas, el Departamento del Hemisferio Occidental advierte, sin embargo, que los riesgos a la baja son severos. Una fuerte desaceleración en Asia, provocada, por ejemplo, por una recesión en las economías avanzadas, podría afectar a los precios de las materias primas, lo que tendría efectos negativos en los países exportadores de materias primas de América Latina. Dado que la política monetaria a nivel mundial probablemente seguirá siendo laxa, los flujos de capitales podrían exacerbar el sobrecalentamiento y agudizar las vulnerabilidades en los mercados emergentes. Las perspectivas para los países que mantienen fuertes vínculos de comercio con Estados Unidos son un poco menos alentadoras. Estos países deberían dar prioridad a la reducción de la deuda pública. Si bien gran parte de la región del Caribe se está recuperando de una recesión prolongada, las perspectivas siguen estando limitadas por los altos niveles de deuda y los débiles flujos de turismo. En esta edición se señala que las políticas económicas pueden desempeñar un papel importante en mitigar el impacto económico de estos shocks y se subraya la necesidad de recomponer los márgenes de maniobra para la aplicación de políticas anticíclicas en el futuro.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Despite the recent deterioration in the global economic environment, projections for the region involve only a modest worsening of the outlook. The October 2011 Regional Economic Outlook: Western Hemisphere cautions, however, that there are severe downside risks. A sharp slowdown in Asia, for example in response to a recession in advanced economies, could impact commodity prices, with negative effects on Latin American commodity exporters. With global monetary policy likely to remain accommodative, capital flows could exacerbate overheating and amplify vulnerabilities in emerging markets. Countries with strong real linkages to the United States face a somewhat weaker outlook and should give priority to reducing public debt. Although much of the Caribbean is recovering from a prolonged recession, the outlook remains constrained by high public debt and weak tourism flows. This issue finds that policies can play an important role in mitigating the economic impact of terms-of-trade shocks, and underscores the need to rebuild policy buffers.