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Near-term global financial stability risks have been contained as unprecedented and timely policy response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has helped avert a financial meltdown and maintain the flow of credit to the economy. But the outlook remains highly uncertain, and vulnerabilities are rising, representing potential headwinds to recovery. Vulnerabilities have increased in the nonfinancial corporate sector as firms have taken on more debt to cope with cash shortages and in the sovereign sector as fiscal deficits have widened to support the economy. As the crisis unfolds, corporate liquidity pressures may morph into insolvencies, especially if the recovery is delayed. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are more vulnerable th.
Presidential elections in June 2020, a re-run of the canceled 2019. elections, resulted in a change of government, with President Chakwera securing 59. percent of the vote. The new administration is facing a rapid acceleration of COVID-19. cases in Malawi and adverse spillovers from continued deterioration of the global and. regional economic situation, significantly worsening the macroeconomic outlook. Consequently, an additional urgent balance of payments need of 2.9 percent of GDP. has arisen—bringing the total external financing gap in 2020 to 5.0 percent of GDP. The. authorities have requested an additional disbursement of 52.1 percent of quota (SDR. 72.31 million) under the “exogenous shock” window of the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF),. where 3.
European authorities introduced stringent lockdown measures in early 2020 to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. As the first wave of infection curves flattened and the outbreak appeared controlled, most countries started to reopen their economies albeit using diverse strategies. This paper introduces a novel daily database of sectoral reopening measures in Europe during the first-wave and documents that country plans differed significantly in terms of timing, pace, and sequencing of sectoral reopening measures. We then show that reopenings led to a recovery in mobility—a proxy for economic activity—but at the cost of somewhat higher infections. However, the experience with reopening reveals some original dimensions of this trade-off. Firs.
This paper presents the first set of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) borrowing agreements that have been signed to respond to the unprecedented demand for concessional financing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A fast-track loan mobilization round has been instrumental to allow the Fund to raise access limits and scale up emergency financing to low-income countries (LICs). The new agreements and augmentations of existing agreements that have been finalized are from Belgium, Brazil, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Together, these agreements provide a total of SDR 10.6 billion in new PRGT loan resources for LICs.
Rapid ongoing progress with digital technologies has increased the prospects for adoption of new forms of digital money for both domestic and international transactions. These include central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and the so-called global stable coins (GSCs) proposed by large technological companies or platforms. This paper explores the complex interactions between the incentives to adopt and use CBDCs and GSCs across borders and discusses the potential macro-financial effects.
The global economy is embarking on a lengthy path to recovery with modest growth expected for 2021, after a severe contraction this year. The global forecast is subject to unusually large risks. Emerging markets and developing economies face an uphill battle. Low-income developing countries are in an especially vulnerable position and risk a persistent and significant deterioration in development prospects. Controlling the pandemic and cushioning the impact on the economy are key.
In this paper we analyze the dynamics among past major pandemics, economic growth, inequality, and social unrest. We provide evidence that past major pandemics, even though much smaller in scale than COVID-19, have led to a significant increase in social unrest by reducing output and increasing inequality. We also find that higher social unrest, in turn, is associated with lower ourput and higher inequality, pointing to a vicious cycle. Our results suggest that without policy measures, the COVID-19 pandemic will likely increase inequality, trigger social unrest, and lower future output in the years to come.
The COVID-19 pandemic risks exacerbating inequality in Asia. High frequency labor surveys show that the pandemic is having particularly adverse effects on younger workers, women and people that are more vulnerable. Pandemics have been shown to increase inequalities. As a result, income inequality, which was already high and rising in Asia before the pandemic, is likely to rise further over the medium term, unless policies succeed in breaking this historical pattern. Many Asian governments have implemented significant fiscal policy measures to mitigate the pandemic’s effect on the most vulnerable, with the impact depending on the initial coverage of safety nets, fiscal space, and degree of informality and digitalization. The paper includes m.
The IEO is advancing its work program while adapting to the challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. While evaluation is not part of the frontline response that has dominated IMF activity over the past six months, independent evaluation remains a key function for learning from experience and drawing lessons for the Fund as it focuses on meeting members’ urgent and evolving needs. Since April, IEO engagement with the Executive Board has resumed, including formal discussion of the recently completed evaluation of IMF Advice on Capital Flows and an informal seminar on Bank-Fund collaboration on climate issues. Work continues on evaluations of adjustment and growth in IMF-supported programs and IMF engagement with small states, and a new evaluati.
Mexico has had one of the highest death tolls from Covid-19 and among the largest declines in output compared to peers. This paper utilizes data on Mexico’s thirty-two states to better understand the relationship between health and economic outcomes. For instance, did the states with worse pandemic outcomes suffer more economically? What state-level characteristics impacted health and economic outcomes? Among the findings are: individual traits such as age and certain pre-existing conditions were associated with higher illness and fatality risks. States with higher initial health expenditure and capacity on average had a lower case fatality rate. The economic fallout was widespread well beyond the direct impact of the pandemic. Tourism-heav.
Mexico’s fiscal response to the pandemic has been modest compared to its peers, reflecting the authorities’ desire to not issue new debt for spending. This approach, however, risks a more severe recession and a weaker economic recovery, with further costs in the future. Balancing the need for stronger near-term fiscal support for the people and the recovery against medium-term discipline, this paper lays out an alternative strategy. We show that credibly announcing a pro-growth and inclusive medium-term fiscal reform upfront—including increased tax capacity, higher public investment and strengthened social safety nets—would open space for larger short-term support and close medium-term fiscal gaps. Model simulations suggest that this packag.
Policymakers often face difficult tradeoffs in pursuing domestic and external stabilization objectives. The paper reflects staff’s work to advance the understanding of the policy options and tradeoffs available to policymakers in a systematic and analytical way. The paper recognizes that the optimal path of the IPF tools depends on structural characteristics and fiscal policies. The operational implications of IPF findings require careful consideration. Developing safeguards to minimize the risk of inappropriate use of IPF policies will be essential. Staff remains guided by the Fund’s Institutional View (IV) on the Liberalization and Management of Capital Flows.

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