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iMFdirect
iMFdirect features views by IMF economists and officials about pressing issues in the global economy. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF and its Executive Board.

iMFdirect

A Global Picture of Public Wealth

By Jason Harris, Abdelhak Senhadji, and Alexander F. Tieman Español, Português Our new data on government assets shows that when governments know what they own, they can make better use of the assets for the well-being of all their citizens.  We make these data free and publicly available for all to use because we believe transparency can help create better public policy.  The chart shows that advanced economies have larger balance sheets compared to emerging markets and low-income...

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State Ownership in Europe’s Former Socialist States: The Unfinished Reform Agenda

By Poul Thomsen As we approach the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the former socialist countries of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) have made tremendous progress in becoming full-fledged market economies and raising income levels. Large-scale privatization in the 1990s was a key element of this transition but produced mixed results. In some cases, privatization generated broad-based ownership and healthy competition, while in some other countries,...

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Making the Euro Area More Resilient Before the Next Recession Hits

By Shekhar Aiyar, John Bluedorn, and Romain Duval Español, Français, Português Growth in the euro area rebounded earlier this year, but it remains fragile, while risks have increased. Now is a good time for euro area economies to strengthen their ability to weather any future economic difficulties. A new IMF staff paper looks at the resilience of euro area countries and finds that they have had more frequent and severe recessions than other advanced economies over the past 20 years. An...

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To Reduce Inequality, Employ Young People

Burcu Hacibedel and Priscilla Muthoora Español, Português Rising economic growth has reduced inequality in low-income and emerging market countries over the years. In good economic times, young people working helps reduce inequality in both groups of countries. But when growth slows down and jobs are lost, more young people out of work in low-income countries leads to a rise in inequality.  In emerging markets, the story is a bit different and we’ll explain why. The results in our...

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Chart of the WeekKeeping the Wheels of Commerce Turning

By IMFBlog The tariff disputes roiling markets are a reminder that the global system of free trade, which has delivered so much prosperity, is a fragile one. We all know what happened in the 1930s, when trade wars only served to deepen the misery inflicted by the Great Depression. That is why, after World War II, countries agreed to gradually reduce tariffs. But many continued to restrict flows of goods across borders in other ways as they sought to give their domestic industries an edge...

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Chart of the WeekThe Rise of Powerful Companies

By IMFBlog People are concerned that the rising power of big successful companies could lower capital investment, weaken productivity, and reduce people’s take-home pay. While rising corporate market power has had a fairly limited negative economic impact so far, if left unchecked, it could take a bigger toll on growth and people’s income. Our Chart of the Week from the April World Economic Outlook analyzes nearly 1 million companies from 27 advanced and emerging market economies since the...

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How to Help, Not Hinder Global Growth

By Christine Lagarde As the G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors gather this week in Fukuoka, they can take inspiration from their host city. Known as Japan’s “startup city,” Fukuoka has flourished in recent decades by embracing trade, innovation, and openness. That spirit is needed more than ever to help reduce trade tensions and clear other stumbling blocks on the way back to higher and more sustainable growth. The goal must be to help, not stand in the way of global growth....

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Keynes, the IMF, and the Future

By Gita Bhatt If Lord Keynes, who helped usher in the post–World War II economic order at the Bretton Woods conference, visited the IMF today, he would be astonished at the institution’s evolution. He would find a modern IMF able to help countries with new tools for analyzing financial risks and external imbalances and take on income inequality, corruption, and climate change. He would marvel at our universal membership, diverse staff, and female head. He would also find a world transformed...

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Chart of the WeekCorruption and Your Money

By IMFBlog The costs of corruption run deep. Your taxpayer dollars are lost in different ways, siphoned off from schools, roads, and hospitals to line the pockets of people up to no good. Equally damaging is the way it corrodes the government’s ability to help grow the economy in a way that benefits all citizens. And no country is immune to corruption. Our Chart of the Week from the Fiscal Monitor analyzes more than 180 countries and finds that more corrupt countries collect fewer taxes,...

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The Impact of US-China Trade Tensions

By Eugenio Cerutti, Gita Gopinath, and Adil Mohommad 中文 US-China trade tensions have negatively affected consumers as well as many producers in both countries. The tariffs have reduced trade between the US and China, but the bilateral trade deficit remains broadly unchanged. While the impact on global growth is relatively modest at this time, the latest escalation could significantly dent business and financial market sentiment, disrupt global supply chains, and jeopardize the projected...

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