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COVID-19 Pandemic and the Middle East and Central Asia: Region Facing Dual Shock

2020-05-13T11:31:00-05:00March 23, 2020|

This blog is part of a series providing regional analysis on the effects of the coronavirus.

By Jihad Azour

عربي, Español, Français, Português, Русский

The impact of COVID-19 and the oil price plunge in the Middle East and the Caucasus and Central Asia has been substantial and could intensify. With three-quarters of the countries reporting at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 and some facing a major outbreak, the coronavirus pandemic has become the largest near-term challenge to the region. (more…)

Maike B. Luedersen

2020-01-08T14:21:12-05:00December 13, 2018|

Maike B. Luedersen is Senior Counsel in the IMF Legal Department and specializes in banking and financial crisis management. She has been involved in the European reform discussions on risk reduction measures while on secondment to the ECB in 2014-2017. During the global financial crisis, she advised on financial stability measures, deposit insurance, and bank resolution frameworks in Ireland, Germany, and Hungary. Modernizing the personal insolvency law, including mortgage restructuring, was one of the key measures in Ireland to facilitate economic recovery. Ms. Luedersen also has extensive experience in drafting financial sector legislation in Turkey, Iraq, Mauritius, and the Seychelles, and FSAPs in the Euro Area, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Slovak Republic. Her publications focus on bank insolvency and the hierarchy of creditor claims, and she regularly speaks at conferences. Ms. Luedersen holds an LL.M. from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law and degrees in Business Economics from Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and the State University of New York at Oneonta.

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The Year in Review: Global Economy in 5 Charts

2019-03-15T13:00:47-05:00December 17, 2017|

By Oya Celasun, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, and Maurice Obstfeld

December 18, 2017

Versions in عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Español (Spanish),  Français (French),  日本語 (Japanese),  Русский (Russian)

On the economic front, 2017 is ending on a high note (photo: allstars/shutterstock).

It has been a tumultuous year marked by natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, and deep political divisions in many countries.

On the economic front, however, 2017 is ending on a high note, with GDP continuing to accelerate over much of the world in the broadest cyclical upswing since the start of the decade. (more…)

Chart of the Week: Conflict’s Legacy for Growth

2019-03-25T16:17:19-05:00May 8, 2017|

By IMFBlog

Versions in عربي (Arabic)

May 8, 2017

Conflict has been on the rise since the early 2000s given the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

 Conflict leads not only to immeasurable human costs, but also to substantial economic losses with consequences that can persist for years. The tragic rise in conflict has weighed on global GDP growth in recent years, given the increasing number of countries experiencing strife, the severe effect on economic activity, and the considerable size of some of the affected economies.

The IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook (Box 1.1) takes a closer look through the lens of conflict’s impact on economic growth and migration.  (more…)

OPEC’s Rebalancing Act

2019-03-26T10:06:22-05:00March 15, 2017|

By Rabah Arezki and Akito Matsumoto

Versions in عربي (Arabic), Français (French), Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)

In November 2014, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided to maintain output despite a perceived global glut of oil. The result was a steep decline in price.

Two years later, on November 30, 2016, the organization took a different tack and committed to a six-month, 1.2 million barrel a day (3.5 percent) reduction in OPEC crude oil output to 32.5 million barrels per day, effective in January 2017. The result was a small price increase and some price stability. (more…)

The Calculus of Conflict in the Middle East

2019-03-26T15:58:09-05:00September 16, 2016|

Lagarde.2015MDPORTRAIT4_114x128By Christine Lagarde

Versions in: عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French), 日本語(Japanese), Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)

As world leaders head to New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly, there is still no end to the heart-breaking images of war-torn cities in the Middle East and North Africa, and of a massive exodus of people looking for sanctuary and opportunities to sustain a livelihood.

(more…)

Oil Prices and the Global Economy: It’s Complicated

2019-03-27T10:52:25-05:00March 24, 2016|

By Maurice Obstfeld, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, and Rabah Arezki

Versions in عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French),
日本語 (Japanese), Русский (Russian), Español (Spanish)

Oil prices have been persistently low for well over a year and a half now, but as the April 2016 World Economic Outlook will document, the widely anticipated “shot in the arm” for the global economy has yet to materialize. We argue that, paradoxically, global benefits from low prices will likely appear only after prices have recovered somewhat, and advanced economies have made more progress surmounting the current low interest rate environment.

(more…)

Subdued Growth, Diminished Prospects, Action Needed

2019-03-27T12:33:26-05:00January 19, 2016|

By Maurice Obstfeld

(Versions in عربي, , 中文Français, 日本語, Русский, and Español)

At the start of 2016, turbulence in financial markets has returned amid renewed concern about risks to global economic growth. The fundamental forces that underlay our October World Economic Outlook projections have not dissipated, and in some respects have intensified, leading us to trim our expectations for future medium-term growth of the world economy.

In the World Economic Outlook Update released today, we still, however, expect growth to pick up this year in most countries.

Despite the modesty of the reduction we see in general growth prospects and the promise of improvement in coming years, downside risks to our central scenario have intensified. In our view, a focus on these risks is the main factor driving recent developments in financial markets.

We may be in for a bumpy ride this year, especially in the emerging and developing world.

(more…)

Corruption: A Hidden Tax on Growth

2019-03-27T14:19:13-05:00November 5, 2015|

By Vitor Gaspar and Sean Hagan

(Versions in Español عربي中文Français日本語, Русскийعربي)

In recent years, citizens’ concerns about allegations of corruption in the public sector have become more visible and widespread. From São Paulo to Johannesburg, citizens have taken to the streets against graft. In countries like Chile, Guatemala, India, Iraq, Malaysia and Ukraine, they are sending a clear and loud message to their leaders: Address corruption!

Policymakers are paying attention too. Discussing corruption has long been a sensitive topic at inter-governmental organizations like the International Monetary Fund. But earlier this month at its Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru, the IMF hosted a refreshingly frank discussion on the subject.  The panel session provided a stimulating debate on definitions of corruption, its direct and indirect consequences, and strategies for addressing it, including the role that individuals and institutions such as the IMF can play. This blog gives a flavor of the discussion.

(more…)

Metals and Oil: A Tale of Two Commodities

2019-03-27T15:13:25-05:00September 14, 2015|

By Rabah Arezki and Akito Matsumoto

(Version in Español)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” With these words Charles Dickens opens his novel “A Tale of Two Cities”. Winners and losers in a “tale of two commodities” may one day look back with similar reflections, as prices of metals and oil have seen some seismic shifts in recent weeks, months and years.

This blog seeks to explain how demand — but also supply and financial market conditions — are affecting metals prices. We will show some contrast with oil, where supply is the major factor. Stay tuned for a deeper analysis of the trends in a special commodities feature, which will be included in next month’s World Economic Outlook.

(more…)

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