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Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Economies in the Financial Spotlight in 2021

By IMFBlog Throughout 2020 and into 2021, the global financial system withstood the effects of the global pandemic and economic lockdowns due to unprecedented policy support. Strong financial systems that are well regulated and well supervised help maintain financial stability. But like a well calibrated engine on a car, maintenance is key. Each year the IMF takes a look under the hood of select economies, which helps to unmask vulnerabilities that could present bigger problems down the...

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What the Continued Global Uncertainty Means for You

By Hites Ahir, Nicholas Bloom, and Davide Furceri عربي, Español, 中文, Français, 日本語, Português, Русский  Global uncertainty reached unprecedented levels at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and remains elevated. The World Uncertainty Index—a quarterly measure of global economic and policy uncertainty covering 143 countries—shows that although uncertainty has come down by about 60 percent from the peak observed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, it remains...

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How COVID-19 Will Increase Inequality in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies

By Gabriela Cugat and Futoshi Narita Emerging markets and developing economies grew consistently in the two decades before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, allowing for much-needed gains in poverty reduction and life expectancy. The crisis now puts much of that progress at risk while further widening the gap between rich and poor. Despite the pre-pandemic gains in poverty reduction and lifespans, many of these countries have struggled to reduce income inequality. At the same time, they saw...

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Global Imbalances and the COVID-19 Crisis

By Martin Kaufman and Daniel Leigh, عربي, 中文, Español, Français, Português, Русский  The world entered the COVID-19 pandemic with persistent, pre-existing external imbalances. The crisis has caused a sharp reduction in trade and significant movements in exchange rates but limited reduction in global current account deficits and surpluses. The outlook remains highly uncertain as the risks of new waves of contagion, capital flow reversals, and a further decline in global trade still loom large...

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Chart of the WeekLow Internet Access Driving Inequality

By Mercedes García-Escribano COVID-19 and the Great Lockdown triggered a mass migration from analog to digital and highlighted that access to the Internet is crucial for socioeconomic inclusion. High-speed Internet is key for working from home, for children’s education when they can’t attend school in person, for telemedicine, for benefiting from social support programs, and for enabling access to financial services for everyone, especially for those living in remote areas. The digital...

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COVID-19 Pandemic and the Caribbean: Navigating Uncharted Waters

By Krishna Srinivasan, Sònia Muñoz, and Varapat Chensavasdijai Español, Français As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the globe—bringing severe human and economic costs—the Caribbean is no exception. With over 1,000 confirmed cases, many countries have taken strong containment measures, such as border closures and lockdowns, to “flatten the curve.” But the “sudden stop” in tourism is sharply slowing economic activity in the Caribbean, and growth in the region is projected to...

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Chart of the weekGlobal Uncertainty Related to Coronavirus at Record High

By Hites Ahir, Nicholas Bloom, and Davide Furceri The coronavirus continues to spread. As more countries impose quarantines and social distancing, the fear of contagion and income losses is increasing uncertainty around the world. A new measure of uncertainty related to pandemics and other disease outbreaks finds that uncertainty around the coronavirus is exceptionally high and is much higher than in past outbreaks. To quantify uncertainty related to the coronavirus crisis and compare it...

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A Call for Vigilance After a Strong Year for Risky Assets

By Tobias Adrian and Fabio Natalucci عربي, 中文, Español, Français While we have seen some recent volatility, many risky asset markets around the world had a spectacular year in 2019. Equity market indices were up just over 30 percent in the United States, close to 25 percent in Europe and China, and over 15 percent in emerging markets and Japan. Emerging-market sovereign debt, U.S. high-yield debt, and emerging-market corporate debt all had returns in excess of 12 percent. Remarkably, the...

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New Data on World Debt: A Dive into Country Numbers

By Marialuz Moreno Badia and Paolo Dudine Español, Português The new update of the IMF’s Global Debt Database shows that total global debt (public plus private) reached US$188 trillion at the end of 2018, up by US$3 trillion when compared to 2017. The global average debt-to-GDP ratio (weighted by each country’s GDP) edged up to 226 percent in 2018, 1½ percentage points above the previous year. Although this was the smallest annual increase in the global debt ratio since 2004, a closer look...

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Chart of the WeekThe Threat of Inequality of Opportunity

By Shekhar Aiyar and Christian Ebeke There are clashing views on the relationship between income inequality and growth. Some have pointed to at least some measure of inequality as a necessary outcome of the rewards to innovation and risk-taking. Others have argued that excessive income inequality depresses investment in both human and physical capital, two key sources of long-term growth. In recent research we argue that the crucial missing link in the inequality-growth relationship is...

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