This paper develops a new data-driven metric to capture MacroEconomic Uncertainty (MEU) in the euro area. The measure is constructed as the conditional volatility of the unforecastable components of a large set of time series, accounting for the monetary union as well as cross-country heterogeneity. MEU exhibits the largest spike at the time of the COVID-19 outbreak and is noticeably different from other more financial-oriented and policy-driven uncertainty measures. It also reveals a significant increase in inflation uncertainty in 2021-2022. Our BVAR-based analysis shows that an unexpected increase in the MEU has a negative and persistent impact on euro area's industrial production, accounting for 80 percent of its reduction during the first wave of COVID-19, therefore supporting the interpretation of COVID-19 shock as a macroeconomic uncertainty shock. Public debt increases in response to this uncertainty shock. Finally, an increase in MEU negatively affects Emerging Europe countries, contributing the most to the decline in their economic activity during this COVID-19 period.
Harri Kemp, Mr. Rafael A Portillo, and Marika Santoro
We estimate the role of (pre-Ukraine war) supply disruptions in constraining the Covid-19 pandemic recovery, for several advanced economies and emerging markets, and globally. We rely on two approaches. In the first approach, we use sign-restricted Vector Auto Regressions (SVAR) to identify supply and demand shocks in manufacturing, based on the co-movement of surveys on new orders and suppliers’ delivery times. The effects of these shocks on industrial production and GDP are recovered through a combination of local projection methods and the input-output framework in Acemoglu et al. (2016). In the second approach, we use the IMF’s G20 model to gauge the importance of supply shocks in jointly driving activity and inflation surprises. We find that supply disruptions subtracted between 0.5 and 1.2 percent from global value added during the global recovery in 2021, while also adding about 1 percent to global core inflation that same year.
The IMF conducted a remote technical assistance (TA) mission from March 1 to 12, 2021, to help the National Statistics Office of Mongolia (NSOM) compile a monthly indicator of economic activity (MIEA). Experimental results describe monthly economic activity from January 2010 to January 2021 as well as the impact of the COVID-19. This second mission for developing the MIEA was funded by the IMF's Data for Decisions trust fund1 (D4D).
Mr. Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Nour Tawk, and Naihan Yang
This paper empirically examines the effects of fiscal policy measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, using a novel database of daily fiscal policy announcements—classified by type of fiscal measure—and high-frequency economic indicators for 52 countries from January 1 to December 31, 2020. The results suggest that fiscal policy announcements have been effective in stimulating economic activity, boosting confidence, and reducing unemployment, but their effect varies by type of measure and country characteristics. Emergency lifeline measures (which form the bulk of below-the-line measures) are more effective when containment policies are stringent, providing cashflow support to firms and households. Demand-support measures (which comprise most of above-the-line measures) are more effective when containment measures are relaxed.
Mr. Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, and Nour Tawk
Containment measures are crucial to halt the spread of the 2019 COVID-19 pandemic but entail large short-term economic costs. This paper tries to quantify these effects using daily global data on real-time containment measures and indicators of economic activity such as Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) emissions, flights, energy consumption, maritime trade, and mobility indices. Results suggest that containment measures have had, on average, a very large impact on economic activity—equivalent to a loss of about 15 percent in industrial production over a 30-day period following their implementation. Using novel data on fiscal and monetary policy measures used in response to the crisis, we find that these policy measures were effective in mitigating some of these economic costs. We also find that while workplace closures and stay-at-home orders are more effective in curbing infections, they are associated with the largest economic costs. Finally, while easing of containment measures has led to a pickup in economic activity, the effect has been lower (in absolute value) than that from the tightening of measures.