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. […]

A Planet at Risk Requires Multilateral Action

2020-01-08T16:58:39-05:00December 3, 2018|

by Signe Krogstrup and Maurice Obstfeld

 December 3, 2018

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

A wolf in the snow: the planet isn’t crying wolf as man’s economic activities reach a scale where the global climate is at risk (photo: ImageBroker/ David MichaSheldon/Newscom)

The COP-21 Paris Agreement limiting greenhouse gas emissions was a major achievement on the road to meeting the threat of climate change. But as the evidence becomes increasingly unambiguous that human activity is destabilizing the Earth’s climate and biosphere, policymakers will need to do more. […]

Steering the World Toward More Cooperation, Not Less

2019-03-13T14:49:12-04:00September 6, 2018|

By Vitor Gaspar, Sean Hagan, and Maurice Obstfeld

September 6, 2018

عربيBaˈhasa indoneˈsia中文,Español, Français日本語,Português,Русский

With the world becoming more interdependent than ever before, countries can achieve a lot when they pull together (photo: Anton Sokolov/iStock by Getty Images)

Countries cooperate if they perceive it to be in their best interests, both economically and politically.  […]

Weak Productivity: The Role of Financial Factors and Policies

2019-03-14T16:02:37-04:00January 8, 2018|

By Romain Duval, Giuseppe Nicoletti, and Fabrizio Zampolli

January 8, 2018

Auto worker in Mexico: weak productivity has been a problem even before the global financial crisis (photo: Henry Romero/Newscom).

Almost ten years after the onset of the global financial crisis productivity growth remains anaemic in advanced economies despite very easy monetary conditions, casting doubts on the sustainability of the cyclical recovery. The productivity slowdown started well before the crisis, which then amplified the problem. To what extent can this slowdown be ascribed to policies and financial factors, including loose monetary policy prior to 2008, corporate and bank balance sheet vulnerabilities, and the exceptional monetary and financial policy responses to the crisis? […]

Top Ten Blogs of 2017

2019-03-15T12:43:01-04:00December 28, 2017|

By IMFBlog

December 28, 2017

Read the top ten blogs of 2017 (photo: Times Square- New York-Pacific Press/SipaUSA/Newscom)

We have all had quite the year. Our readers’ interests in 2017 focused on topics that affect how people live their lives: why wages are low, rising income and wealth inequality, household debt, climate change, and the scourge of corruption, to name a few.

As we wrap up the highs and lows of 2017 and get ready for whatever 2018 has in store, here is the list of the top ten blogs of the year based on readership. From all the elves editors at IMFBlog, we wish you a year of peace and interesting reads.

[…]

The Year in Review: Global Economy in 5 Charts

2019-03-15T13:00:47-04:00December 17, 2017|

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

December 18, 2017

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

On the economic front, 2017 is ending on a high note (photo: allstars/shutterstock).

It has been a tumultuous year marked by natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, and deep political divisions in many countries.

On the economic front, however, 2017 is ending on a high note, with GDP continuing to accelerate over much of the world in the broadest cyclical upswing since the start of the decade. […]

Two to Tango—Inflation Management in Unusual Times

2019-03-25T14:36:17-04:00June 15, 2017|

By Vitor Gaspar, Maurice Obstfeld, and Chang Yong Rhee

June 15, 2017

Versions in 中文 (Chinese), and 日本語 (Japanese)

Shinjuku shopping district, Tokyo, Japan. Strong coordination between monetary and fiscal policies can help Japan tackle its low inflation (photo: Nikada/iStock/Getty Images)

Monetary and fiscal policies interact in complex ways. Yet modern institutional arrangements typically feature a strict separation of responsibilities. For example, the central bank targets inflation and smooths business cycle fluctuations, while the fiscal authority agrees to respect its budget constraint and to support financial stability by maintaining the safe asset status of its debt. This gives governments the freedom to pursue a multiplicity of economic and social objectives (in IMF parlance, inclusive growth).

[…]

Why International Financial Cooperation Remains Essential

2019-03-26T09:34:17-04:00March 23, 2017|

By Tobias Adrian and Maurice Obstfeld

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

Economic growth appears to be strengthening across the large economies, but that does not mean financial-sector regulation can now be relaxed. On the contrary, it remains more necessary than ever, as does international cooperation to ensure the safety and resilience of global capital markets. That is why the Group of Twenty (G20) finance ministers and central bank governors reiterated their support for continuing financial-sector reform at their meeting in Baden-Baden last week. […]

Revisiting the Paradox of Capital: The Reversal of Uphill Flows

2019-03-26T11:33:24-04:00March 7, 2017|

By Emine Boz, Luis Cubeddu, and Maurice Obstfeld

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

Basic economic theory tells us that capital should flow from slow-growing rich countries to faster-growing poor ones in search of higher returns. A decade ago, our former Research Department colleagues Eswar Prasad, Raghuram Rajan, and Arvind Subramanian examined why the reverse had been true—capital generally flowed “uphill” from poorer to richer countries. Building on the seminal work of Robert Lucas, they argued that certain characteristics of poorer countries, such as weaker institutions and lower levels of education, may reduce the risk-adjusted returns to investing there.  […]

Dealing with Sovereign Debt—The IMF Perspective

2019-03-26T12:00:10-04:00February 23, 2017|

By Sean Hagan, Maurice Obstfeld, and Poul M. Thomsen

Versions in Français (French), Deutsch (German); ελληνικά (Greek), and Español (Spanish)

Debt is central to the functioning of a modern economy. Firms can use it to finance investments in future productivity. Households can use it to finance lumpy purchases, such as big consumer durables, or a home. Sometimes, however, firms’ investments do not pan out or a household’s main earner loses his or her job. Countries’ legal systems generally recognize that in these cases, debtors and creditors alike—along with society at large—may be better off if there is an orderly procedure for reorganizing debts.  […]

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