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Posts Tagged ‘IMF’

Drifting Apart: Income Convergence in the Euro Area

Posted by hkarner - 14. September 2017

September 13, 2017

The experience of recent decades has challenged the prediction that the single currency would help differences in income levels across euro area countries narrow over time. This income convergence among the founding countries of the euro has not happened, prompting a need for further economic reforms. While newer members of the euro have converged, even this trend has stalled since the crisis.

When the 12 founding members of the euro embarked on the project of economic and monetary union, they had a clear expectation that sharing a single currency and liberalizing capital flows would boost economic growth, and help countries with lower initial income levels catch up to their richer neighbors.

Although monetary policymaking can operate effectively when income levels differ, convergence helps to ensure that the gains from economic integration are shared, and thus bolster the cohesion of the monetary union.

Great expectations of convergence Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »


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End of the Oil Age: Not Whether But When

Posted by hkarner - 13. September 2017

By Reda Cherif, Fuad Hasanov, and Aasim M. Husain, IMF Blog

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 “lower for longer.” More recent studies suggest that other new technologies, such as the spread of electric cars and solar electricity generation, could even more profoundly affect the oil market and the long-term demand for oil. As Sheikh Zaki Yamani, a former Saudi oil minister, once said, “The stone age came to an end not for a lack of stones, and the oil age will end, but not for a lack of oil.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Saving the International Economic Order

Posted by hkarner - 3. September 2017

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More Action Needed on European Bank Profitability

Posted by hkarner - 31. August 2017

August 30, 2017

European banking has made considerable progress in the past few years: Banks have built up capital, regulation is stronger and supervision has been enhanced. But profitability remains weak, posing risks for financial stability.

In a sample of more than 170 large European lenders with combined assets of $35 trillion, roughly half generated a weak return on equity in 2016, and banks representing only 15 percent of assets generated a healthy return on equity, defined as more than 10 percent. Weak profitability is also shown in a low return on assets for domestic banks in many European countries. The drivers of these weak returns reflect varying combinations of low income, high costs, or provisions needed to build buffers against non-performing assets.

Impact on stability Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Pension Shock

Posted by hkarner - 25. August 2017

By Mauricio Soto, IMF Blog

August 24, 2017

Young adults in the workforce will need to build their own nest eggs in the age of public pension reforms. 

Young adults in advanced economies must take steps to increase their retirement income security

Public pensions have played a crucial role in ensuring retirement income security over the past few decades. But for the millennial generation coming of working age now, the prospect is that public pensions won’t provide as large a safety net as they did to earlier generations. As a result, millennials should take steps to supplement their retirement income.

Pensions and other types of public transfers have long been an important source of income for the elderly, accounting for more than 60 percent of their income in countries that are members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Pensions also reduce poverty. Without them, poverty rates among those over 65 also would be much higher in advanced economies. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Recovery is Not Resolution

Posted by hkarner - 2. August 2017

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A Common Cause for Sustainable Growth and Stability in Central Africa Tweet

Posted by hkarner - 2. August 2017

August 1, 2017

 Six countries in Central Africa have a strategy to turn their economies around, with help from the IMF 

Six countries in central Africa have been hit hard by the collapse in commodity prices. Oil prices dropped, economic growth stalled, public debt rose, and foreign exchange reserves declined. A delayed response from policymakers, and a regional conflict have worsened the situation further for people in the region.

The countries of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community are Gabon, Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic , the Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea . They share a common currency—the CFA franc—that is pegged to the euro, and have a common central bank that holds the region’s pool of foreign exchange reserves.

In response to their current acute economic difficulties, the countries have devised a strategy to turn their economies around. Success depends on countries’ implementation of well-coordinated policies within and across their borders. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe: Harnessing the Power of Good Governance

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2017

July 27, 2017

Dubrovnik, Croatia. Countries in the region should continue working on good governance for higher growth 

In many ways, Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe is an incredible success story. In less than a generation, countries moved from centrally-planned economies to market-based ones—transforming their legal systems, public administrations, and economic policies, to name a few key elements. Yet, for the sake of higher growth in the future, countries need to continue enhancing institutions and good governance.

Enhancing institutions and good governance—the efficient governing of a country—remains at the core of the reform agenda to raise prosperity to advanced European living standards. Many countries have joined the European Union, a vital anchor toward these goals, and others are aspiring to join.

Uneven convergence

Average income per capita in real terms (without inflation) in this region has almost doubled over the past two decades and near-term growth in most countries is robust. But convergence with advanced Europe has slowed since the global financial crisis. Growth potential has almost halved from its pre-crisis level—largely because of a slowdown in productivity growth. In addition, many higher-skilled workers have left this region in search of better opportunities abroad. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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What We Have Seen and Learned 20 Years After the Asian Financial Crisis

Posted by hkarner - 14. Juli 2017

By Mitsuhiro Furusawa

July 13, 2017 IMF Blog

Asia today is the fastest-growing region in the world, and the largest contributor to global growth. It has six members of the Group of Twenty advanced and emerging economies, and its economic and social achievements are well recognized.

But 20 years ago, July 1997 marked the beginning of the Asian Financial Crisis, when a combination of economic, financial and corporate problems triggered a sharp loss of confidence and capital outflows from the region’s emerging market economies. The crisis began in Thailand on July 2, when the baht’s peg to the dollar was dropped, and eventually spread to Korea, Indonesia and other countries.

The 20th anniversary of the Asian Crisis is a good moment to ask whether the region is better prepared today to address another major economic shock. I would offer a “Yes, by all means.” Of course, important vulnerabilities remain, especially the elevated levels of corporate and household debts in some countries. But the overall picture is one of greater resilience. Let me explain why. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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IWF schenkt Trump ein: Stärkung statt Belastung der Unterschicht nötig

Posted by hkarner - 27. Juni 2017

27. Juni 2017, 14:00 derstandard.at

In seinem Länderbericht kritisiert der Währungsfonds Ungleichheit und Armut – hier müsse die Regierung ansetzen

Auf den ersten Blick läuft die US-Wirtschaft rund. Seit Jahren verzeichnen die Vereinigten Staaten höheres Wachstum als beispielsweise Europa und Japan und annähernd Vollbeschäftigung. Doch auf den zweiten Blick stellt sich die Lage anders dar, wie der Internationale Währungsfonds in einem am Dienstag erschienenen Länderbericht konstatiert. Der Fonds senkte am Dienstag seine US-Wachstumsprognose für das laufende Jahr um 0,2 Punkte auf 2,1 Prozent und für kommendes Jahr um 0,4 Punkte auf ebenfalls 2,1 Prozent. Der Wohlstand ist immer ungleicher verteilt. Seit 2000 hat sich das Realeinkommen für mehr als die Hälfte der Amerikaner verschlechtert. Auch die niedrige Arbeitslosigkeit täuscht. Tatsächlich haben viele US-Bürger resigniert und sind aus dem Arbeitsmarkt ausgeschieden. Nur noch 63 der Bevölkerung sind beschäftigt oder suchen einen Job. 2007 lag diese Quote noch bei 66 Prozent. Und: Mit 13,5 Prozent ist die Armutsrate eine der höchsten in entwickelten Volkswirtschaften.

CO2-Steuer gefordert

Während US-Präsident Donald Trump Steuererleichterungen für Reiche und Konzerne plant, macht der Währungsfonds anders gelagerte Vorschläge. Vor allem untere und mittlere Einkommen sollten entlastet werden. Auch bei der Gegenfinanzierung setzt der Fonds andere Prioritäten als das Weiße Haus: Eine bundesweite Umsatzsteuer von fünf Prozent, eine CO2-Abgabe und höhere Steuern auf Gas sollten gut zwei Prozent des Bruttoinlandsprodukts erlösen. Zudem wünscht sich der Währungsfonds weitere Schritte zur Stärkung der unteren Einkommensschichten. Ein einheitlicher und höherer Mindestlohn zählt ebenso zu den Vorschlägen wie leichterer Zugang zum Bildungssystem und bessere soziale Absicherung. All das würde nicht nur die Ungleichheit mindern, sondern auch die Produktivität erhöhen, ist der IWF überzeugt. Stattdessen plane die US-Regierung in ihrem Haushaltsplan übermäßige Kürzungen bei unteren und mittleren Einkommensgruppen. (as, 27.6.2017) – derstandard.at/2000059874476/IWF-schenkt-Trump-ein-Staerkung-statt-Belastung-der-Unterschicht

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