External Sector Report 2021
Divergent Recoveries and Global Imbalances

Abstract

Produced since 2012, the IMF’s annual External Sector Report analyzes global external developments and provides multilaterally consistent assessments of external positions, including current accounts, real exchange rates, external balance sheets, capital flows, and international reserves, of the world’s largest economies, representing over 90 percent of global GDP. Chapter 1 discusses the evolution of global external positions in 2020, external developments throughout the COVID-19 crisis, and policy priorities for reducing excess imbalances over the medium term. Chapter 2 analyzes how the unprecedented fiscal support provided in response to the COVID-19 crisis has affected external positions at the individual and global level. It also focuses on how withdrawal of such support will impact external positions in the medium term. Chapter 3, “Individual Economy Assessments,” provides details on the different aspects of the overall external assessment and associated policy recommendations for 30 economies. This year’s report and associated external assessments are based on the latest vintage of the External Balance Assessment (EBA) methodology and on data and IMF staff projections as of June 30, 2021.

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