February 16, 2018
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to diversify their economies, and the region’s youth need to be at the heart of it, says Axel Schimmelpfennig.
Schimmelpfennig is head of the IMF team for Uganda, and a coauthor of a study that looks at the potential benefits of a stepped-up diversification agenda in sub-Saharan Africa.
In this podcast, Schimmelpfennig talks about the need for sub-Saharan Africa to increase productivity in areas like agriculture and manufacturing to become more competitive in the export market and allow for increasing wages. Continue reading “Sub-Saharan Africa: Diversifying for Tomorrow” »
February 13, 2018
High and rising income inequality is a serious concern in many countries, as highlighted in the IMF’s recent Fiscal Monitor. Wealth, however, is distributed even more unequally than income, as in the picture below. Continue reading “Game-Changers and Whistle-Blowers: Taxing Wealth” »
February 12, 2018
Youth unemployment in the Caribbean—among the highest in the world—and crime are key bottlenecks to growth in the region.
In our Chart of the Week, we show that the 2008 global financial crisis had an especially strong effect on the unemployment rate for those between the ages of 15 and 24, which jumped on average by 5 percentage points between 2007 and 2013—from 21 percent to 26 percent. In some countries (for example, the Bahamas, Barbados, and Jamaica), youth unemployment rates are nearly three times that of those aged 30 and over. Continue reading “Chart of the Week: Crime, Joblessness, and Youth in the Caribbean” »
February 9, 2018
If you believe the economy can explain the rise of populism, political scientist Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser says it’s a bit more complicated than that.
“If you think about populist radical right parties in Western Europe, the party that gets the most votes is in Switzerland. And the economy in Switzerland is running perfectly!”
Populism has become a bit of a buzz word of late, and it was the subject of a seminar at the 2018 American Economic Association’s Annual Meeting. The IMF’s Antonio Spilimbergo organized the panel, which included Kaltwasser and economic stalwarts Dani Rodrik and Raghuram Rajan. Continue reading “The Buzz of Populism and Its Pull on the Economy” »
February 8, 2018
Over a decade of spectacular growth, demand for smartphones has created a new global tech cycle that last year produced a new smartphone for every fifth person on earth.
This has created a complex and evolving supply chain across Asia, changing the export and growth performance of several countries. While our recent analysis of Chinese smartphone exports suggests that the global market may be saturated, demand for other electronics continues to support rising semiconductor production in Asia. Continue reading “Smartphones Drive New Global Tech Cycle, but Is Demand Peaking?” »
February 5, 2018
The gap in life expectancy between rich and poor people is a worldwide phenomenon, and has grown dramatically in recent years in some countries.
In our Chart of the Week, we show how this longevity gap, which reflects inequality in access to health care and its impact on peoples’ overall health, varies across countries. Men with a lower level of education live shorter lives, on average, than their better educated fellow citizens: this gap ranges from four years in Italy, to 14 years in Hungary, according to the October 2017 Fiscal Monitor. Continue reading “Chart of the Week: Inequality, Your Health, and Fiscal Policy” »
By IMF Blog
January 31, 2018
The IMF in 2018 will complete ten assessments of countries’ financial systems, to identify risks and propose policies to strengthen their financial stability. Three of this year’s reviews will be for countries with Systemically Important Financial Systems : Belgium, Brazil and Poland. In addition, IMF experts will assess the euro area’s financial stability. Other financial stability assessments will cover Armenia, Jamaica, Namibia, Peru, Romania, and Tanzania.
January 26, 2018
While central bankers are often seen as somewhat traditionalist, South Africa’s Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago is breaking that mold. Kganyago sees how new technology—or fintech—is transforming the financial sector, and in this podcast, he says there is no turning back. Continue reading “South Africa’s Lesetja Kganyago: Fintech Is a Central Banker’s Friend” »
January 25, 2018
Recent trends in the world economy and financial markets are good news for Latin America. Global growth and trade are on an upswing, and we expect the momentum to continue in 2018. Stronger commodity prices have also helped the region rebound. Continue reading “Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018: An Economic Recovery in the Making” »
January 24, 2018
The poet Langston Hughes once asked, “What happens to a dream deferred?” It is a relevant question to millions around the world today, especially young people, because of inequality and poverty.
This week IMF staff are launching new, European Union-focused research highlighting the impact of unemployment and the long-term consequences of inadequate social protection on the young. The study also explores ideas that can help fix the problem and reduce inequality and poverty for the next generation. Continue reading “A Dream Deferred: Inequality and Poverty Across Generations in Europe” »