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Tag Archives: imfblog

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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US Business Investment: Rising Market Power Mutes Tax Cut Impact

By Emanuel Kopp, Daniel Leigh, and Suchanan Tambunlertchai US business investment has been on the rise. Since the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act at the end of 2017, US businesses have bought more machinery, developed software, and created new intellectual property. Some believe that the key to this growth in business investment has been the Act’s cut to the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, which lowered the cost of capital. Lower capital costs could, at least...

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Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean: A Stalling Recovery

By Alejandro Werner Español Economic activity in Latin America and the Caribbean remains sluggish. Real GDP is expected to grow by 0.6 percent in 2019—the slowest rate since 2016—before rising to 2.3 percent in 2020. The weak momentum reflects negative surprises in the first half of 2019, elevated domestic policy uncertainty in some large economies, heightened US-China trade tensions, and somewhat lower global growth. Elevated policy uncertainty in some large economies of the region has...

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Rebalancing the Global Economy: Some Progress but Challenges Ahead

By Gita Gopinath Español, 日本語 Following the global financial crisis, overall current account surpluses and deficits fell sharply from about 6 percent of global GDP in 2007 to about 3.5 percent in 2013. Since then, as shown in our new External Sector Report, global current account imbalances have declined only slightly to 3 percent of world GDP in 2018, while rotating toward advanced economies and away from emerging economies, including China whose current account is now broadly in line with...

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Tariff Shocks: The Role of Value Chains in Europe

By Raju Huidrom, Carlos Mulas-Granados, Laura Papi, and Emil Stavrev (Español, Português) The Czech Republic exports only a small number of cars and car parts directly to the United States, but it’s likely to suffer significant economic damage if that country were to impose tariffs on auto imports. The reason: the Czech Republic supplies parts that are used to build cars exported by other European countries. Europe’s auto industry is one of many that are part of global value chains, in...

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The Slope of the US Yield Curve and Risks to Growth

By Tobias Adrian, Rohit Goel and Fabio Natalucci The slope of the yield curve in the US has inverted in recent months, making long-term debt significantly cheaper than short-term debt. This inversion is a gauge of investors’ confidence in the economy and signals doubts about future growth. The slope of the Treasury yield curve is the difference between the interest rate on long-term and short-term debt; and each time the curve inverts, there are questions about the reliability of the...

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Chart of The WeekThe Price of Capital Goods and the Threat to Investment

By IMFBlog Español, Português Over the past three decades, the prices of machinery and equipment have fallen sharply relative to overall prices. Rising trade and sweeping technological improvements have led to more efficient production of capital goods. This has helped countries around the world raise real investment and improve living standards. However, trade tensions and sluggish productivity growth could slow the decline in the relative price of machinery and equipment, which would...

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When Disaster Strikes: Preparing for Climate Change

By Seán Nolan and Krishna Srinivasan Earlier this year, Cyclone Idai devastated Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe by leaving more than 1,000 people dead, thousands more missing, and damages in the billions. These storms were among the recent reminders of how natural disasters can cause severe and catastrophic damage. Natural disasters destroy lives and property and have large and lasting effects on economies by reducing production and increasing debt burdens. They also tend to...

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Chart of the WeekGrowing Through Education in Nigeria

By Vivian Malta and Monique Newiak Our chart of the week, drawn from the IMF’s 2019 economic health check for Nigeria, highlights substantial inequality in access to education between girls and boys, and between rich and poor. It is widely accepted that addressing educational gaps results in rapid and large benefits for children, their families, communities, and the country more broadly.   Limited schooling for girls According to a survey conducted by the Nigeria Bureau of...

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Chart of the WeekMapping the World’s Financial Weak Spots

By IMFBlog Español, Português Where will the next financial crisis come from? The short answer is: We don’t know. We can, however, look for vulnerabilities in the system that, if left untreated, can develop into problems. What do we mean by a vulnerability? It is an area of weakness that can amplify and spread an unexpected economic shock, increasing the level of risk to the financial system. Imagine the impact of an earthquake on a house built on sand, as opposed to bedrock. In the...

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