2020 will soon be over, and with it an incredibly trying year. The editors at IMFBlog wish you good health and peace over the holidays ahead, and into the new year.
In case you missed some of the compelling facts and figures in our Charts of the Week series this year, we have pulled together your top reads.
Here are the top ten charts of the week for 2020, based on your readership.
With vaccines around the corner, there is increased hope that the pandemic could soon be under better control. That said, the need for cooperative efforts to work toward a better future has never been greater. Priority areas relate to the need to produce and distribute vaccines globally, tackle climate change, and bolster the economic recovery from the crisis.
An IMF report published ahead of the G20 leaders meeting argues that a synchronized infrastructure investment push could invigorate growth, limit scarring, and address climate goals. In fact, when many countries act at the same time, public infrastructure investment could help lift growth domestically and abroad through trade linkages. This positive “spillover” effect could provide an additional boost to global output.
The spillovers created by higher demand are particularly impactful when economic conditions are weak and interest rates low. When economic conditions are strong, higher government spending may push inflation above the central bank’s target and trigger a monetary policy tightening, offsetting some of the initial boost to demand. But when conditions are weak and inflation is well below target, monetary policy is less likely to tighten in response to higher government […]
September 18, 2018
A customer pays at a supermarket using her smartphone in Bangkok, Thailand: urban and rural areas in the region widely use mobile payment platforms to access financial services (photo: Li Mangmang Xinhua News Agency/Newscom)
In Asia, the world’s fastest-growing region, expanding access to financial services for more people will mean higher growth, as well as lower poverty and inequality. […]
By Tao Zhang
March 22, 2018
Versions in Português (Portuguese)
Congested streets in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In a third of low-income countries, including Bangladesh, government deficits finance investment in much needed infrastructure (photo: Motoya Taguchi/Jiji Press/Newscom).
Government debt in some of the world’s poorest countries is rising to risky levels, a new IMF report shows. The report looks at economic developments and prospects among the world’s low-income countries, which account for a fifth of the world’s population but only four percent of global output. […]
July 14, 2017
Corruption can lead to pervasive distrust in government, generating violence, civil strife, and conflict. And the results are devastating for people.
Another problem is that corruption is costly—particularly for those who are already worse off. IMF research shows that in countries with greater levels of corruption, infant mortality and dropout rates are especially high, partly due to less spending on health and education. Reduced investment in these areas tends to hurt poor people the most, and contributes to higher inequality. […]
May 30, 2017
Policy uncertainty remains a challenge in Japan, and can harm the country’s economic performance according to a new IMF study. The good news is that credible plans for taxation, spending and structural reforms, as well as greater clarity about monetary policy can reduce uncertainty. […]
Many advanced countries need structural reforms to make their economies more productive and raise long-term living standards. Our new research shows that provided countries can afford it, fiscal policy, through spending or tax incentives, can help governments overcome some obstacles to the reforms, particularly in the early stages. […]
By Yasser Abdih
There was a time when U.S. central bankers worried that inflation was too high, and they tried to bring it down. Now the opposite is true: the Federal Reserve is concerned that inflation has remained stubbornly low, and it’s trying to boost prices. The reason: persistently low inflation raises the risk that prices will actually start to decline, a dangerous condition known as deflation. That’s bad news because it makes people less willing to borrow and spend—anticipating lower prices, consumers will put off spending—and could also lead to a fall in wages. […]