Chart of the WeekWhen it Comes to Services vs. Manufacturing, Words Matter

2021-02-16T10:00:21-05:00February 16, 2021|

By Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov

Efforts to revive national manufacturing sectors get a lot of airtime. After all, the sector propelled many East and South East Asian economies—the so-called “East Asia Miracle”—and was a gateway to the middle class for millions of workers. However, for all the obsession with manufacturing, economists for their part seem to be more preoccupied with services.

To confirm this, we combed through thousands of IMF reports on countries’ economies from 1978 to 2019. Using 113 distinct terms related to growth theory and policy—ranging from “infrastructure” to “liberalization”—we computed the relative weights […]

5 Charts That Explain the Global Economy in 2018

2019-03-04T14:59:50-05:00December 20, 2018|

By Oya Celasun, Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, and Maurice Obstfeld

December 20, 2018

عربي中文, EspañolFrançais, 日本語, Português, Русский

The global economy started 2018 on a positive note but the momentum lost steam (photo: scyther5/iStock)

  1. The global economy started 2018 on an upbeat note, buoyed by a pickup in global manufacturing and trade through 2017. […]

The Digital Accelerator: Revving Up Government in Asia

2019-03-13T13:58:38-04:00September 26, 2018|

By Vitor Gaspar and Chang Yong Rhee

September 26, 2018

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

A driver from the Malaysian ride-hailing tech startup, Grab, picks up a passenger in Jakarta, Indonesia: digitalization is transforming Asia’s businesses and governments (photo: Afif C. Kasuma/iStock by Getty Images)

Asia’s digital revolution shows no signs of slowing down. From e-commerce giants like China’s Alibaba […]

Chart of the Week: Japan’s Robots

2019-03-14T10:24:41-04:00June 12, 2018|

By IMFBlog

June 12, 2018

Version in 中文, 日本語

A Panasonic robot moves around the lounge of Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (photo: Yoshio Tsunoda/AAFLO/Alamy Live News)

As Japan’s population ages and the birth rate is too low to sustain growth, the country is no stranger to coping with a limited number of working age people.  […]

Sub-Saharan Africa: Diversifying for Tomorrow

2019-03-14T15:31:34-04:00February 16, 2018|

By IMFBlog

February 16, 2018

Photo: iStock by Getty Images/subman

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to diversify their economies, and the region’s youth need to be at the heart of it, says Axel Schimmelpfennig.

Schimmelpfennig is head of the IMF team for Uganda, and a coauthor of a study that looks at the potential benefits of a stepped-up diversification agenda in sub-Saharan Africa.

In this podcast, Schimmelpfennig talks about the need […]

Unpicking the Riddle of Sluggish Investment by Japanese Firms

2019-03-27T15:14:10-04:00September 10, 2015|

By Joong Shik Kang and Shi Piao

(version in 日本語)

Japanese-brand cars have become everyday, household items in the United States, and it’s hard to drive in the country without seeing one on the roads. These cars may be manufactured by Japanese firms, but about 70 percent of these vehicles are actually produced in North America. Globally, in 2014, about two-thirds of Japanese cars were produced on assembly lines outside of that country. Despite the increase in overseas demand for Japanese vehicles, this hasn’t been mirrored by an expansion in investment, and the building of factories […]

Moving On Up: The Growth Story of Frontier Economies

2017-04-14T01:49:12-04:00December 16, 2014|

Min ZhuBy Min Zhu

(version in Español)

The growth story for frontier economies isn’t the same as China’s in the last two decades, or the United States a hundred years ago.  These fast growing, low-income countries have their own story, and it’s not what you might think.

In May of this year, I wrote about who they are and how they are different, and now I want to go into a bit more detail about how their economies have been on the rise and how they […]

Infrastructure Investment: Part of Africa’s Solution

2017-04-14T01:52:13-04:00October 28, 2014|

Antoinette SayehBy Antoinette M. Sayeh

Tremendous efforts are under way to upgrade sub-Saharan Africa’s infrastructure. But the needs on the ground are still immense as evidenced by the frequent electricity blackouts, poor roads, and insufficient access to clean water in many countries.

Infrastructure is one of the key challenges facing policymakers in the region—I experienced it first hand when I was finance minister of Liberia before coming to the IMF. The benefits are fairly clear: with improved […]

Does Raising the Minimum Wage Hurt Employment? Evidence from China

2017-04-14T01:52:15-04:00October 23, 2014|

Prakash LounganiBy Prakash Loungani

(version in 中文)

Raising the minimum wage is a polarizing issue. One side worries that raising it will lower employment. The other side downplays the impact on employment and plays up the positive impact on the living standards of the poor. Both sides are able to cling to their beliefs as the evidence, much of which comes from high-income (“advanced”) economies, is mixed.

The majority of the global labor force, however, is in […]

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