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 […]

Reopening from the Great Lockdown: Uneven and Uncertain Recovery

2020-06-25T09:17:07-04:00June 24, 2020|

By Gita Gopinath

عربي, 中文, EspañolFrançais日本語, Português, Русский 

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed economies into a Great Lockdown, which helped contain the virus and save lives, but also triggered the worst recession since the Great Depression. Over 75 percent of countries are now reopening at the same time as the pandemic is intensifying in many emerging market and developing economies. […]

Limiting the Economic Fallout of the Coronavirus with Large Targeted Policies

2020-03-18T14:41:03-04:00March 9, 2020|

This blog is part of a special series on the response to the coronavirus.

By Gita Gopinath

عربي 中文, EspañolFrançais, 日本語Português, Русский

This health crisis will have a significant economic fallout, reflecting shocks to supply and demand different from past crises. Substantial targeted policies are needed to support the economy through the epidemic, keeping intact the web of economic and financial relationships between workers and businesses, lenders and borrowers, and suppliers and end-users for activity to recover once the outbreak fades. The goal is to prevent a […]

Chart of the Week: Grading the G-20 on its Growth Goals

2019-03-13T11:50:42-04:00November 19, 2018|

By Helge Berger and Margaux MacDonald

November 19, 2018 

Español, Português

Growth is stronger in the G-20 but progress toward more balanced, sustainable, and inclusive growth is slow (photo: Egon Bömsch imageBROKER/Newscom)

This blog is dedicated to the memory of Giang Ho, an IMF economist who died suddenly this past August. Her efforts and ingenuity were critical to carrying out this analytical work. We miss […]

Sounding the Alarm on Leveraged Lending

2019-03-13T12:03:03-04:00November 15, 2018|

By Tobias Adrian, Fabio Natalucci, and Thomas Piontek

November 15, 2018

A drilling crew member raises a pipe on an oil rig in Texas: Energy is among the industries in which leveraged lending is most prevalent, along with telecommunications, health care, and technology (photo: Nick Oxford/Reuters/Newscom)

We warned in the most recent Global Financial Stability Report that speculative excesses in some financial markets may be approaching […]

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