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Chart of the WeekFour Factors Behind the Metals Price Rally

By Martin Stuermer and Nico Valckx As economies reopen in various parts of the world, the price of some commodities has soared, including the prices of prominent industrial metals. The extent to which the metals price rally may lose steam depends on how multiple factors will play out. As our latest chart of the week shows, metals prices have increased by 72 percent relative to their pre-pandemic levels—reaching a nine-year high in May (in inflation adjusted terms). The increase has been...

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A Greener Future Begins with a Shift to Coal Alternatives

By Christian Bogmans and Claire Mengyi Li 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский  As the world economy emerges from the COVID-19 crisis, the consumption of coal is expected to recover from its sharp decline during the pandemic. Demand for coal remains strong and helps to fuel economic development in emerging markets. Yet many countries, seeking a more sustainable future, have been taking steps to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, especially coal. Obstacles to their efforts have...

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chart of the weekFuel for Thought: Ditch the Subsidies

By IMFBlog Pensions, education, healthcare, better infrastructure, technology, and climate change: fiscal policymakers have their work cut out for them on many fronts.  Whether you live in a rapidly aging advanced economy,  or a low-income or emerging market economy with a young, booming population, all these issues matter for you.  As the Fiscal Monitor in April 2019 shows, government policies on taxes and spending have to adapt and should shift to growth-enhancing investment.  This means,...

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5 Things You Need to Know About the IMF and Climate Change

By Ian Parry June 8, 2018 Version in 中文,  Русский  A polar bear on shrinking ice in the Arctic: climate change means the world is getting hotter (photo: Sven-Erik Arndt/Newscom) The world is getting hotter, resulting in rising sea levels, more extreme weather like hurricanes, droughts, and floods, as well as other risks to the global climate like the irreversible collapsing of ice sheets.  Here are five ways the IMF helps countries move forward with their strategies as part of...

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End of the Oil Age: Not Whether But When

By Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, and Aasim M. Husain Filling up at a gas station in California: demand for oil could plummet with the rise of renewal energy (Xinhua/Newscom) A transportation revolution is underway that could completely transform the oil market in the coming decades. When oil prices suddenly halved from over $100 a barrel in 2014, our IMF study concluded that supply-side factors such as the emergence of shale and new technologies would be a key force keeping oil prices...

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The Overwhelming Case for a Carbon Tax in China

By Ian Parry and Philippe Wingender Version in 中文 (Chinese) A single policy could do it all for China. A carbon tax—an upstream tax on the carbon content of fossil fuel supply—could dramatically cut greenhouse gases, save millions of lives, soothe the government’s fiscal anxieties, and boost green growth. According to IMF estimates, a tax on carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, rising by $5 per year between 2017 and 2030, could reduce CO2 emissions by 30 percent in 2030, well in excess of what is...

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