Chart of the Week: Mexico’s Spike in Crime Hurts the Economy

2019-01-17T11:01:35+00:00December 18, 2018|

By Christian Saborowski

December 18, 2018

Español, Português

A woman sells street food at a market stall in Mexico City, Mexico: the country’s spike in crime is hurting small businesses’ profitability (photo: Jonah_Photos/iStock)

The human and economic costs of crime in Mexico have risen to historic highs. 2017 was Mexico’s most violent year on record with over 25,000 homicides—a 50 percent jump since 2015. (more…)

The Wealth of Nations: Governments Can Better Manage What They Own and Owe

2018-10-25T15:23:26+00:00October 9, 2018|

By Vitor Gaspar, Jason Harris, and Alexander Tieman

October 10, 2018

عربي,中文, Español, FrançaisBaˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語PortuguêsРусский

A firefighter in Auckland, New Zealand: when governments know what they own they can put their assets to better use and can earn about 3 percent of GDP more in revenues to spend on citizens’ well being (Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Newscom)

What is the state of your personal finances? You probably think first about your debts: your mortgage, your credit card balance, and your student loans. But you probably also think about how much cash is sitting in the bank, the value of your house, and the rest of your nest egg.

Surprisingly, most governments do not approach their finances this way. (more…)

The Financial System Is Stronger, but New Vulnerabilities Have Emerged in the Decade Since the Crisis

2018-10-12T10:07:48+00:00October 9, 2018|

By Tobias Adrian

October 10, 2018

عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Baˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語PortuguêsРусский

Debt owed by governments, companies and households in economies with globally systemically important financial sectors has risen since the global financial crisis (Photo: Richard B. Levine/Newscom)

Although the global expansion has plateaued, easy monetary policies continue to support growth. But we shouldn’t rest too easily. Chapter 1 of the latest Global Financial Stability Report finds that short-term risks to the financial system have increased somewhat over the past six months. (more…)

Global Growth Plateaus as Economic Risks Materialize

2018-10-10T12:39:46+00:00October 8, 2018|

By Maurice Obstfeld

October 9, 2018

عربي中文, Español, FrançaisBaˈhasa indoneˈsia, 日本語, Русский

Uncertainty over trade policy is becoming a drag on economic activity (photo: Imagine China/Newscom)

The latest World Economic Outlook report projects that global growth will remain steady over 2018–19 at last year’s rate of 3.7 percent. This growth exceeds that achieved in any of the years between 2012 and 2016. It occurs as many economies have reached or are nearing full employment and as earlier deflationary fears have dissipated. Thus, policymakers still have an excellent opportunity to build resilience and implement growth-enhancing reforms.

(more…)

Outlook for the Americas: A Tougher Recovery

2018-07-23T15:26:45+00:00July 23, 2018|

By Alejandro Werner

July 23, 2018

Versions in EspañolPortuguês

Street vendors in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: While growth is accelerating in some parts of Latin America, the recovery has become tougher for some of the largest economies (photo: Oliver Wintzen/Robert Harding/Newscom)

Economic activity in Latin America continues to recover. Following the pickup in domestic demand led by consumption in 2017, investment is finally gathering strength. (more…)

How the Commodity Boom Helped Tackle Poverty and Inequality in Latin America

2018-06-25T07:39:57+00:00June 21, 2018|

By Ravi Balakrishnan and Frederik Toscani

June 21, 2018 

Versions in Español, Português

People buying produce in a busy market in Bahia, Brazil. During the commodity boom, Brazil saw significant reductions in poverty and inequality (photo: golero/iStock by Getty Images)

Latin America may be the most unequal region in the world, but it is the only region to significantly lower inequality over the past two decades, and the boom in commodity prices helped make it happen.  (more…)

From Shadows to Sunlight, Paraguay’s Road to Transparency

2018-06-15T07:24:45+00:00June 15, 2018|

By IMFBlog

June 15, 2018

Lea Giménez Duarte, Paraguay’s Finance Minister speaking at IMF World-Bank Spring meetings seminar Restoring Trust by Curbing Corruption (photo: IMF)

Current Paraguayan Finance Minister Lea Giménez Duarte knows first-hand that transparency pays off. In this podcast, Duarte says the changes began after the government passed a transparency law in 2014. (more…)

Fiscal Rules: Make them Easy to Love and Hard to Cheat

2018-04-18T10:52:26+00:00April 13, 2018|

By Xavier Debrun, Luc Eyraud, Andrew Hodge, Victor Lledo, Catherine Pattillo, Abdelhak Senhadji

April 13, 2018

Versions in Español (Spanish), Français (French),  Português  (Portuguese)

The national debt clock in New York City: a fiscal rule, like the debt ceiling, should not be set too low or too high. (photo: Frances M. Roberts/Newscom)

Rules to contain lavish government deficits are most effective if countries design them to be simple, flexible, and enforceable in the face of changing economic circumstances.

In new analysis, we look at fiscal rules in over 90 countries and, based on their experiences, find that the rules put in the place over the last three decades often were too complex, overly rigid, and difficult to enforce. (more…)

Managing Debt Vulnerabilities in Low-Income and Developing Countries

2018-04-03T15:10:22+00:00March 22, 2018|

By Tao Zhang

March 22, 2018

Versions in Português (Portuguese)  

Congested streets in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In a third of low-income countries, including Bangladesh, government deficits finance investment in much needed infrastructure (photo: Motoya Taguchi/Jiji Press/Newscom).

Government debt in some of the world’s poorest countries is rising to risky levels, a new IMF report shows. The report looks at economic developments and prospects among the world’s low-income countries, which account for a fifth of the world’s population but only four percent of global output. (more…)

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