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Alejandro Werner

By | April 23rd, 2013|

Alejandro Werner assumed his current position as Director of the Western Hemisphere Department of the International Monetary Fund  in January 2013. A Mexican citizen, Mr. Werner has had distinguished careers in the public and private sectors as well as in academia. Most recently, he served as Undersecretary of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico from December 2006 until August 2010; was Professor of Economics at the Instituto de Empresa in Madrid Spain from August 2010 until July 2011, and Head of Corporate and Investment banking at BBVA-Bancomer from August 2011 until end-2012.

Previously he was Director of Economic Studies at the Bank of Mexico and professor at ITAM. He has published widely. Mr. Werner was named Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007. Mr. Werner received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994.

Latest Posts:

The World’s Three-Speed Economic Recovery

By | April 16th, 2013|Advanced Economies, Asia, Debt Relief, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Emerging Markets, Fiscal policy, growth, Low-income countries|

WEOBy Olivier Blanchard

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

The main theme of our latest outlook is one that you have now heard for a few days: we have moved from a two-speed recovery to a three-speed recovery.

Emerging market and developing economies are still going strong, but in advanced economies, there appears to be a growing bifurcation between the United States on the one hand, and the Euro area on the other.

This is reflected in our forecasts. Growth in emerging market and developing economies is forecast to reach 5.3% in 2013, and 5.7% in 2014. Growth in the United States is forecast to be 1.9% in 2013, and 3.0% in 2014. In contrast, growth in the Euro area is forecast to be -0.3% in 2013, and only 1.1% in 2014.

Continue reading “The World’s Three-Speed Economic Recovery” »

The Fiscal Milestone: Achievements, Fatigue, and Prospects

By | April 16th, 2013|Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Europe, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, International Monetary Fund|

Fiscal Monitor

By Carlo Cottarelli

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

The 2008–09 global economic crisis pushed public debt ratios of advanced economies to levels never seen before during peacetime. These high debt levels expose countries to a loss of market confidence and, ultimately, damage long-term growth prospects.  Since 2010 advanced economies have been on a journey: the goal is to bring their public finances back to safer territory. They are in it for the long haul, not a sprint, and, as a redress of the large fiscal imbalances created by the crisis, without derailing the still fragile economic recovery, it requires a steady and gradual pace of adjustment—at least for countries not subject to market pressures.

This year we see the process of gradual fiscal adjustment reaching two symbolic milestones. First, the average deficit of advanced economies as a share of GDP will fall to half of its 2009 level at the peak of the crisis. Second, the average debt ratio will stop rising, after increasing steadily since 2007. Indeed, it will actually decline slightly.

Continue reading “The Fiscal Milestone: Achievements, Fatigue, and Prospects” »

Time for Change—Shifting Energy Spending in Africa

By | March 28th, 2013|Africa, Emerging Markets, Finance, Fiscal policy, growth, International Monetary Fund, Low-income countries, Politics|

Antoinette SayehBy Antoinette M. Sayeh

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

For many years, countries in sub-Saharan Africa have spent large amounts on subsidizing fuel and electricity. For both sources of energy combined, this averages around 3-4 percent of GDP. That’s about the same magnitude as public spending on health in many countries. Now we need to ask some important questions. Is this a good use of scarce resources?  Where does this money go? Is it helping to support the livelihood of the poorest in African economies?  Is it helping to boost the country's competitiveness? The answers are largely, no. I believe this money can and must be used better to invest in the critical physical and social infrastructure required to sustain growth in sub-Saharan Africa. A recent IMF paper backs this up.

Continue reading “Time for Change—Shifting Energy Spending in Africa” »

A Missing Piece In Europe’s Growth Puzzle

By | March 5th, 2013|International Monetary Fund|

Even before the latest euro area GDP numbers and Italian elections cast a shadow over the continent, economists were struggling to reconcile the steady improvement in market sentiment with the more downbeat data on the economy, production, orders, and jobs. This video looks at this puzzle from a somewhat different perspective than the usual— we examine the role of household and corporate balance sheets in the countries under financial market stress and the implications for policy priorities.

Europe: Toward A More Perfect Union

By | February 15th, 2013|Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Employment, Finance, Financial Crisis, Financial regulation, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund|

During the years that followed the euro’s introduction, financial integration proceeded rapidly and markets and governments hailed it as a sign of success. The financial symptoms of the crisis in Europe are thankfully receding with a new sense of optimism in markets. But the underlying problems—lack of convergence of productivity and the structural flaws in the architecture of the monetary union—have only been partially addressed.

We May Have Avoided the Cliffs, But We Still Face High Mountains

By | January 23rd, 2013|Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Fiscal policy, growth, IMF, International Monetary Fund|

Compared to where we were at the same time last year, acute risks have decreased. The United States has avoided the fiscal cliff, and the euro explosion in Europe did not occur. And uncertainty is lower. But we should be under no illusion. There remain considerable challenges ahead. And the recovery continues to be slow, indeed much too slow. Overall, these developments lead us to forecast 3.5 percent world growth for 2013.

Global Economy: Some Bad News and Some Hope

By | October 8th, 2012|Advanced Economies, Africa, Annual Meetings, Asia, Economic Crisis, Economic outlook, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Finance, Financial Crisis, Fiscal policy, Fiscal Stimulus, Global Governance, growth, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Investment, Latin America, LICs, Low-income countries, Middle East, Multilateral Cooperation, Politics, Public debt|

The world economic recovery continues, but it has weakened further. In advanced countries, growth is now too low to make a substantial dent in unemployment. And in major emerging countries, growth that had been strong earlier has also decreased. Relative to the IMF's forecasts last April, our growth forecasts for 2013 have been revised down from 1.8% to 1.5% for advanced countries, and from 5.8% down to 5.6% for emerging and developing countries.The downward revisions are widespread.

Restoring Jobs by Restoring Growth

By | October 3rd, 2012|Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Economic research, Emerging Markets, Employment, Europe, Finance, Fiscal policy, growth, Inequality, International Monetary Fund, Politics|

A growth strategy is the best jobs strategy. Policies that restore growth in advanced economies will also put people back to work in these countries. And the growth spillovers to emerging markets and developing economies will boost jobs there as well. Put differently, the human costs—in terms of increased unemployment—of making bad policy choices are immense.

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