Divergent Recoveries in Asia: History is not Destiny

by Davide Furceri, Jonathan D. Ostry, and Anthony C.K. Tan Asian economies are performing better than expected. In the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook Update, we upgraded our growth estimate for 2020 by 0.7 percentage point from our previous forecast in October, to a contraction of 1.5 percent—in regional terms, a better outcome than other […]

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Chart of the WeekWhen it Comes to Services vs. Manufacturing, Words Matter

By Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov Efforts to revive national manufacturing sectors get a lot of airtime. After all, the sector propelled many East and South East Asian economies—the so-called “East Asia Miracle”—and was a gateway to the middle class for millions of workers. However, for all the obsession with manufacturing, economists for their part […]

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COVID’s Long Shadow: Social Repercussions of Pandemics

By Philip Barrett, Sophia Chen, and Nan Li In 1832, the great cholera pandemic hit Paris. In just a few months, the disease killed 20,000 of the city’s 650,000 population. Most fatalities occurred in the heart of the city, where many poor workers lived in squalid conditions, drawn to Paris by the Industrial Revolution. The […]

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Legally Speaking, is Digital Money Really Money?

By Catalina Margulis and Arthur Rossi Countries are moving fast toward creating digital currencies. Or, so we hear from various surveys showing an increasing number of central banks making substantial progress towards having an official digital currency. But, in fact, close to 80 percent of the world’s central banks are either not allowed to issue […]

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Top 10 Blogs of 2020

By IMFBlog Welcome to 2021. Before we step too far into the new year, the editors at IMFBlog invite you to reflect on what the world went through in 2020. As much as we would like to turn the page on 2020, navigating a course forward through still uncertain times entails using all we’ve learned […]

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Global Policy Responses to Capital Flow Volatility

By Annamaria De Crescenzio,  Annamaria Kokenyne, Dennis Reinhart, and Julia Schmidt The COVID-19 health and economic crisis has once again focused attention on the fickleness of capital flows and the need to have an adequate policy toolkit to manage the risks that stem from these flows, while maximizing their benefits. A virtual workshop organized by […]

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Reclaiming Our World Post-2020

By Atish Rex Ghosh As 2020 draws to a close, many of us cannot wait for this annus horribilis to end. And for good reason: this year has seen more than a million and a half COVID-19 deaths; an economic collapse far greater than that of the 2008 financial crisis; a boiling-over of resentment against […]

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Top 10 Charts of the Week for 2020

2020 will soon be over, and with it an incredibly trying year. The editors at IMFBlog wish you good health and peace over the holidays ahead, and into the new year. In case you missed some of the compelling facts and figures in our Charts of the Week series this year, we have pulled together […]

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What is Really New in Fintech

By Arnoud Boot, Peter Hoffmann, Luc Laeven, Lev Ratnovski The financial industry is undergoing rapid technological change. Traditional banks face competition from online start-ups with no physical branches. Social media and other digital platforms are expanding into payments and credit. The increase in demand for digital services triggered by COVID-19 is turbo-charging this transformation. The […]

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What to do When Low-for-Long Interest Rates are Lower and for Longer

By Tobias Adrian Central banks have played a pivotal role in easing financial conditions in response to the COVID-19 shock, and helped avert a catastrophic downturn. However, their work is far from done. Yet more monetary stimulus will be needed to support economic recovery, and central banks are implementing innovative new strategies to provide it. […]

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