While we have seen some recent volatility, many risky asset markets around the world had a spectacular year in 2019. Equity market indices were up just over 30 percent in the United States, close to 25 percent in Europe and China, and over 15 percent in emerging markets and Japan. Emerging-market sovereign debt, U.S. high-yield debt, and emerging-market corporate debt all had returns in excess of 12 percent. Remarkably, the fourth quarter of 2019 was especially strong in China and in emerging markets.
In the October World Economic Outlook, we described the global economy as in a synchronized slowdown, with escalating downside risks that could further derail growth. Since then, some risks have partially receded with the announcement of a US-China Phase I trade deal and lower likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. (more…)
Since the global financial crisis of 2008, emerging market economies have experienced a surge in capital flows in response to significant monetary easing by major central banks. Gross capital inflows to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have remained high compared to other emerging markets, but their composition has changed significantly, with a surge in portfolio flows (equity and bond instruments) and a decline in foreign direct investment. (more…)
By David Lipton
Last March, Operation Taiex led to the arrest of the gang leader behind the Carbanak and Cobalt malware attacks on over 100 financial institutions worldwide. This law enforcement operation included the Spanish national police, Europol, FBI, the Romanian, Moldovan, Belarusian, and Taiwanese authorities, as well as private cybersecurity companies. Investigators found out that hackers were operating in at least 15 countries.
Over the past decade, inequality has become one of the most complex and vexing challenges in the global economy.
Inequality of opportunity. Inequality across generations. Inequality between women and men. And, of course, inequality of income and wealth . They are all present in our societies and—unfortunately— in many countries they are growing. (more…)
The decade is over and with it goes another year of insightful, thought-provoking, and dare we say clever, charts of the week brought to you by the IMF.
Everyone likes a great chart, right? So to get the new year started on the right foot, take a minute and look back at what caught your eye (or what you might have missed) in 2019. (more…)
In what seems like a blink of an eye, 2019 came and went. The frequency of events and developments left little time for contemplation, and, in many respects left more questions than answers. We covered some of these on IMFBlog, and we hope our analysis succeeded in providing our readers with answers. (more…)
Over the past two decades, sub-Saharan Africa has made considerable economic progress: extreme poverty levels have declined by one third; life expectancy has increased by a fifth; and real per capita income has grown by about 50 percent on average. Yet, sub-Saharan Africa is still only half-way to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. (more…)