Chart of the weekGlobal Uncertainty Related to Coronavirus at Record High

2020-04-05T08:25:17-04:00April 4, 2020|

By Hites Ahir, Nicholas Bloom, and Davide Furceri

The coronavirus continues to spread. As more countries impose quarantines and social distancing, the fear of contagion and income losses is increasing uncertainty around the world.

A new measure of economic uncertainty related to pandemics and other disease outbreaks finds that uncertainty around the coronavirus is exceptionally high and is much higher than in past outbreaks.

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COVID-19 Pandemic and the Middle East and Central Asia: Region Facing Dual Shock

2020-05-13T11:31:00-04:00March 23, 2020|

This blog is part of a series providing regional analysis on the effects of the coronavirus.

By Jihad Azour

عربي, Español, Français, Português, Русский

The impact of COVID-19 and the oil price plunge in the Middle East and the Caucasus and Central Asia has been substantial and could intensify. With three-quarters of the countries reporting at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 and some facing a major outbreak, the coronavirus pandemic has become the largest near-term challenge to the region. […]

Fiscal Policies to Protect People During the Coronavirus Outbreak

2020-03-16T15:02:56-04:00March 5, 2020|

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

By Vitor Gaspar and Paolo Mauro

عربي, 中文, EspañolFrançais, 日本語Português, Русский

A key role of government is to protect the well-being of its people—most crucially and visibly during emergencies such as the recent outbreak of the coronavirus. The IMF has $50 billion available in rapid-disbursing emergency financing to help countries suffering from the virus. As Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said, what we want is to guarantee that people are not going […]

Tentative Stabilization, Sluggish Recovery?

2021-05-13T12:56:12-04:00January 20, 2020|

By Gita Gopinath

عربي, 中文Español, Français, 日本語, PortuguêsРусский

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. […]

Chart of the Week: High Hurdles for Trade in Services

2019-03-15T15:36:21-04:00September 25, 2017|

By IMFBlog

September 25, 2017

A shop window in Stockholm, Sweden: 62 % of jobs in the country are in the services sector (photo: Bob Strong/Reuters/Newscom).

The service sector accounts for some two-thirds of economic activity, and roughly the same share of jobs around the world. And yet the barriers to trade in services—from banking to online consultations with doctors or engineers—remain high.

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A "New Normal" for the Oil Market

2019-03-26T15:15:12-04:00October 27, 2016|

By Rabah Arezki and Akito Matsumoto

Versions in عربي (Arabic), 中文 (Chinese), Français (French), 日本語 (Japanese), Русский (Russian), and Español (Spanish)

While oil prices have stabilized somewhat in recent months, there are good reasons to believe they won’t return to the high levels that preceded their historic collapse two years ago. For one thing, shale oil production has permanently added to supply at lower prices. For another, demand will be curtailed by slower growth in emerging markets and global efforts to cut down on carbon emissions. It all adds up to a “new normal” for oil.

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Seeking Fairness in the Middle East and North Africa: How Taxation Can Help

2019-03-27T15:16:43-04:00September 8, 2015|

Pritha MitraBy Pritha Mitra

(Versions in Français and عربي)

Aspirations for greater fairness were at the core of the protests that triggered the Arab Spring almost five years ago—and remain largely unfulfilled today. In our new paper, we show that tax reform can go a long way towards meeting those aspirations.

Taxation is a critical interface between the state and citizens. How much revenue is raised, how the tax burden is distributed, and how taxation is implemented can all powerfully affect both the reality and the perception of […]

Mideast Oil Exporters Face the Crisis Head On

2017-04-15T14:51:05-04:00October 11, 2009|

By Masood Ahmed Middle East oil exporters are squarely facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression head on. Despite the sharp drop in oil prices last year, the oil exporters rightly decided to maintain spending by drawing upon reserves amassed during the boom years. High public spending and exceptional anticrisis financial measures have not only cushioned oil exporters’ own economies but are also contributing to sustaining global demand. They have also helped the interlinked economies of neighboring oil importers.  Facing this boom-bust cycle  Between 2004 and 2008, Middle East oil-exporting countries grew by about […]

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