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Tag Archives: Fiscal Policy

Taming the Currency Hype

By Gustavo Adler, Luis Cubeddu, and Gita Gopinath Escalating trade tensions are taking a toll on the global economy and are partly responsible for the recent downward revisions to our growth forecasts for 2019-20. Facing sluggish growth and below-target inflation, many advanced and emerging market economies have appropriately eased monetary policy, yet this has prompted concerns over so-called beggar-thy-neighbor policies and fears of a currency war. In this blog post, we discuss the...

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Chart of the weekTrade Balances Mostly Driven by Economic Forces, Not Tariffs

By IMFBlog Español, Português Over the past two decades, most of the changes in bilateral trade balances—the difference in the value of exports and imports between two countries—were explained by macroeconomic factors, according to IMF research. These factors include fiscal policy, demographics, and weak domestic demand. They may also include exchange rate policies and domestic supply-side policies, like subsidies to state-owned enterprises or to export sectors. In contrast, changes in...

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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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Communications as a Policy Tool

By Gerry Rice and Olga Stankova عربي, 中文, Español, Русский When it comes to forging economic policy, communicating with the public is no longer an afterthought. Instead, communications are increasingly seen as a policy tool in itself. To be sure, communications can never be a substitute for good policies. But economic reforms are more likely to fail or even be reversed unless they are understood, believed, and accepted by those whom they affect. The same principle applies to a wide range of...

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A Review of IMF-Supported Lending Programs

By Petya Koeva Brooks, Martin Mühleisen, and Chad Steinberg The IMF’s Review of Program Design and Conditionality provides a deep look into the design of 133 IMF-supported lending programs in operation between September 2011 and December 2017. This review is the first major stocktaking of IMF programs since the Global Financial Crisis, a period of unexpectedly slow economic growth. Programs as shock absorbers Countries often come to the IMF when they already face major threats to economic...

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Did Tax Reform Raise the Cost of Owning a Home?

Sonia Gilbukh, Andrew Haughwout, Rebecca Landau, and Joseph Tracy HOUSING SERIES: Post 5 of 5 The 2018 slowdown in the housing market has been a subject of intense interest to the press and policymakers, including articles reporting a slowing in house price growth and a decline in home construction. Today we follow up on our colleagues’ research on whether the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) has contributed to a slowdown in the housing market, looking closely at what price...

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Economic Forces, Not Tariffs, Drive Changes in Trade Balances

By Johannes Eugster, Florence Jaumotte, Margaux MacDonald, and Roberto Piazza عربي, 中文, Español, 日本語, Português New IMF research finds that macroeconomic factors, not tariffs, explain most of the changes in trade balances between two countries. Bilateral trade balances (the difference in the value of exports and imports between two countries) have come under scrutiny recently. Some policymakers are concerned that their large and rising size are the result of uneven measures that distort...

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Chart of the WeekMind the Gap in SDG Financing

by IMFBlog Progress in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) hinges on countries’ ability to scale up spending in important areas like health, education and infrastructure. A new IMF staff study shows that the required scale-up varies widely across countries. For emerging market economies, the average additional annual spending required in 2030 to reach key SDGs stands at 4 percentage points of GDP, compared to 15 percentage points of GDP for the average low-income developing...

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Latin America and the Caribbean in 2019: A Moderate Expansion

By Alejandro Werner Español, Português Economic activity in Latin America continues to rise, but at a slower rate than previously anticipated. The weakening global economy and rising policy uncertainty are contributing to slowing Latin America’s growth momentum. Overall, the region is expected to advance by 2 percent in 2019 and 2.5 percent in 2020—still well below peer countries in other regions. A tightening of global financial conditions and lower commodity prices brought on by...

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