The Policymaker’s Trilemma

2021-05-14T13:01:37-04:00May 12, 2021|

By Abebe Aemro Selassie and Andrew Tiffin

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Imagine you’re a policymaker in sub-Saharan Africa. You’ve been charged with lifting your country out of the worst health crisis in living memory, and nobody around you knows when it will end—the second wave that gripped the region earlier in the year has eased, but many countries are nonetheless bracing for further waves as winter approaches. […]

Chart of the WeekThe Pre-Pandemic Debt Landscape—and Why It Matters

2021-02-02T10:19:45-05:00February 1, 2021|

By Xuehui Han, Paulo Medas, and Susan Yang

Many countries entered the pandemic with elevated debt levels. Our new update of the IMF’s Global Debt Database shows that global debt—public plus private—reached $197 trillion in 2019, up by $9 trillion from the previous year. This substantial debt created challenges for countries that faced a debt surge in 2020, as economic activity collapsed and governments acted swiftly to provide support during the pandemic.

Higher debt can potentially reduce the ability of governments to react to the COVID-19 crisis.

Our data show that the global average debt-to-GDP ratio […]

A Long, Uneven and Uncertain Ascent

2020-11-16T10:48:03-05:00October 13, 2020|

By Gita Gopinath

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread with over 1 million lives tragically lost so far. Living with the novel coronavirus has been a challenge like no other, but the world is adapting. As a result of eased lockdowns and the rapid deployment of policy support at an unprecedented scale by central banks and governments around the world, the global economy is coming back from the depths of its collapse in the first half of this year. Employment has partially rebounded after having plummeted during […]

Reform of the International Debt Architecture is Urgently Needed

2020-10-06T09:12:59-04:00October 1, 2020|

By Kristalina Georgieva, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, and Rhoda Weeks-Brown

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The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed debt levels to new heights. Compared to end-2019, average 2021 debt ratios are projected to rise by 20 percent of GDP in advanced economies, 10 percent of GDP in emerging market economies, and about 7 percent in low-income-countries. […]

COVID-19 Response in Emerging Market Economies: Conventional Policies and Beyond

2020-08-14T10:32:05-04:00August 6, 2020|

By Martin Mühleisen, Tryggvi Gudmundsson, and Hélène Poirson Ward

عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский 

The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on emerging market economies far exceeded that of the global financial crisis. Unlike previous crises, the response has been decisive just like in advanced economies. […]

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