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Tag Archives: Pandemic

Engendering the Recovery: Budgeting with Women in Mind

By Antoinette Sayeh, Jiro Honda, Carolina Renteria, Vincent Tang عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Русский  International Women’s Day, March 8, marks a year from the start of widespread lockdowns in response to COVID-19. As an IMF blog warned back in July, women have borne the economic and social brunt of the pandemic. With many governments preparing budgets for the next fiscal year, we now have a golden opportunity to counter this inequity. We offer a starter kit for gender budgeting to...

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The Evidence Is in on Negative Interest Rate Policies

By Luis Brandao-Marques and Gaston Gelos عربي, 中文, Español, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский  Interest rates are low, and “lower for longer” has become something of a mantra among policy makers, regulators, and other market watchers. But negative interest rates raise an entirely new set of questions. After eight years of experience with negative interest rate policies, the initial skepticism (paying interest to borrowers rather than savers was certainly unprecedented) has proven largely...

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Staying Afloat: New Measures to Support European Businesses

By Alfred Kammer and Laura Papi Español, Français  Much of Europe rang in the start of 2021 with new lockdowns and weak economic activity. This same period saw the roll out of effective vaccines. While the end of the pandemic will remain a race between the virus and vaccines, there is now light at the end of the tunnel. At the same time, government programs aimed at supporting lives and livelihoods have been highly successful. Amid the pandemic’s enormous human toll, these measures provided...

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The Haves and Have-nots Of the Digital Age

By Gita Bhatt Accelerated by the pandemic, the digital future is coming at us faster than ever before, and maybe faster than we can imagine. In this issue of Finance & Development magazine, we explore the possible consequences—the good, the bad, and the gray. For millions, technology has been a lifeline, changing the way we work, learn, shop, and entertain ourselves. In a year like no other, it has spurred game-changing digital shifts. Governments moved quickly, using mobile solutions to...

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Will Capital Flows through Global Banks Support Economic Recovery?

Claudia M. Buch, Matthieu Bussière, and Linda S. Goldberg While policymakers around the world have aggressively and swiftly reacted to the common negative economic shock from COVID-19, the timing and forms of policy responses in the economic recovery stage may be more geographically differentiated. The range in policy responses, along with variations in the financial health of banks, likely will affect the flow of international credit through global banks. In this post, we ask whether,...

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The Great Divergence: A Fork in the Road for the Global Economy

By Kristalina Georgieva عربي, Español, 日本語, Русский  As G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meet virtually this week, the world continues to climb back from the worst recession in peacetime since the Great Depression. The IMF recently projected global GDP growth at 5.5 per cent this year and 4.2 per cent in 2022. But it is going to be a long and uncertain ascent. Most of the world is facing a slow rollout of vaccines even as new virus mutations are spreading—and the prospects for...

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Structural Factors and Central Bank Credibility Limit Inflation Risks

By Gita Gopinath After ending last year with unexpectedly strong vaccine success and hope that the pandemic and economic distress it caused would recede, we woke up to the reality of new virus variants and the unpredictable, winding road that it can lead the world down. Something similar has happened with the discourse on inflation. At the end of last year, after a historic collapse of the global economy estimated at -3.5 percent, inflation was below target in 84 percent of countries. This...

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Mortgage Rates Decline and (Prime) Households Take Advantage

Andrew F. Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw Today, the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data reported that household debt balances increased by $206 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, marking a $414 billion increase since the end of 2019. But the COVID pandemic and ensuing recession have marked an end to the dynamics in household borrowing that have characterized the expansion since the Great Recession, which included robust growth in...

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Why Climate Change Vulnerability Is Bad for Sovereign Credit Ratings

By Serhan Cevik and João Tovar Jalles عربي, 中文, Español, Русский  Climate change has made the world a riskier place. The destruction wrought by heatwaves, droughts, hurricanes, and coastal flooding doesn’t stop with the toll on human lives and livelihoods—it can also have deep consequences for a country’s finances. Recent IMF staff research has found that a country’s vulnerability or resilience to climate change can have a direct effect on its creditworthiness, its costs of borrowing, and,...

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Chart of the WeekHow e-Government Services Can Pay Dividends

By Ali Al-Sadiq The ability to renew your passport or driver’s license, pay a tax bill, or access government data with the click of a button or swipe of a screen, anytime and anywhere, has grown more important during the COVID-19 pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus. Beyond the obvious efficiency and transparency gains that digital government services provide, “e-government” can actually make an economy more attractive to foreign investors. Recent IMF staff research has linked―for the...

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