Continued Strong Policy Action to Combat Uncertainty

By Kristalina Georgieva As G20 leaders meet virtually this week, the global economy faces a critical juncture. Countries have started to climb back from the depths of the COVID-19 crisis. But the resurgence in infections in many economies shows just how difficult and uncertain this ascent will be. The good news is the significant progress […]

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Sub-Saharan Africa’s Difficult Road to Recovery

By Abebe Aemro Selassie Français The COVID-19 pandemic represents an unprecedented health and economic crisis for sub-Saharan Africa. Within months, the spread of the virus has jeopardized years of development and decades-long gains against poverty in the region while threatening the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Policymakers in sub-Saharan Africa now face the […]

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A Leap Forward on Cross-Border Payments

By Tobias Adrian and Kristalina Georgieva When paying for coffee, we swipe, tap, wave, and soon may wink—a quick and painless exchange of coffee for money. But when paying for imports or sending remittances, we often fill-out forms, wait for days, and pay—too much. Progress to improve cross-border payments has been slow, but is just […]

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Fiscal Policy for an Unprecedented Crisis

By Vitor Gaspar, Paulo Medas, John Ralyea, and Elif Ture 中文, 日本語 The COVID-19 crisis has devastated people’s lives, jobs, and businesses. Governments have taken forceful measures to cushion the blow, totaling a staggering $12 trillion globally. These lifelines have saved lives and livelihoods. But they are costly and, together with sharp falls in tax […]

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A Bridge to Economic Recovery: Be Aware of Financial Stability Risks

By Tobias Adrian عربي, 日本語 Despite a global economic crisis comparable only to the Great Depression, near-term financial stability risks have been contained with the help of unprecedented monetary policy easing and massive fiscal support across the globe. But many economies had pre-existing vulnerabilities—which are now intensifying, representing potential headwinds to the recovery. Extraordinary policy […]

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A Long, Uneven and Uncertain Ascent

By Gita Gopinath The COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread with over 1 million lives tragically lost so far. Living with the novel coronavirus has been a challenge like no other, but the world is adapting. As a result of eased lockdowns and the rapid deployment of policy support at an unprecedented scale by central banks […]

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COVID’s Impact in Real Time: Finding Balance Amid the Crisis

By Francesco Grigoli and Damiano Sandri One enduring lesson from the COVID-19 pandemic is that any lasting economic recovery will depend on resolving the health crisis. Our research in the latest World Economic Outlook shows that government lockdowns—while succeeding in their intended goal of lowering infections—contributed considerably to the recession and had disproportional effects on […]

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Public Investment for the Recovery

By Vitor Gaspar, Paolo Mauro, Catherine Pattillo, and Raphael Espinoza Governments around the world are taking extraordinary measures to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. While maintaining the focus on addressing the health emergency and providing lifelines for households and businesses, governments need to prepare economies for the transition to the post-COVID-19 world—including by helping people […]

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Reform of the International Debt Architecture is Urgently Needed

By Kristalina Georgieva, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, and Rhoda Weeks-Brown The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed debt levels to new heights. Compared to end-2019, average 2021 debt ratios are projected to rise by 20 percent of GDP in advanced economies, 10 percent of GDP in emerging market economies, and about 7 percent in low-income-countries. These increases come on […]

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CHART OF THE WEEKMission Impossible? Can Fragile States Increase Tax Revenues?

By Bernardin Akitoby , Jiro Honda, and Keyra Primus The COVID-19 shocks are proving to be especially challenging for fragile states. Pre-COVID, fiscal revenues were low in such countries and governments were struggling to raise them. Now, COVID-19 is hitting them hard and fiscal revenues are falling. Once the pandemic abates, restoring and further enhancing […]

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