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IMF chief called out over pressure to favor China while at World Bank

World Bank leaders, including then-Chief Executive Kristalina Georgieva, applied “undue pressure” on staff to boost China’s ranking in the bank’s “Doing Business 2018” report, according to an independent investigation released Thursday. The report, prepared by law firm WilmerHale at the request of the bank’s ethics committee, raises concerns about China’s influence at the World Bank, and the judgment of Georgieva – now managing director of the International Monetary Fund – and then-World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Georgieva said she disagreed “fundamentally with the findings and interpretations” of the report ...

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G20 GDP growth slows to 0.4% in the second quarter of 2021, but large differences exist across countries

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the G20 area grew by 0.4% in the second quarter of 2021, down from 0.9% in the first quarter of 2021. However, this figure conceals large differences in the growth observed across countries. Among the G20 economies, GDP growth slowed in Turkey (to 0.9%, from 2.2%), Korea (to 0.8%, from 1.7%) and Australia (to 0.7%, from 1.9%). GDP contracted sharply in India (by (minus) 10.2%, after 2.3% growth). GDP also contracted, to a lesser extent, in Canada (by (minus) 0.3%, after 1.4% growth) and Brazil ...

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Australia: Post-pandemic reforms should strive for a return to strong, well-distributed growth

After rebounding rapidly from last year’s COVID-19 recession, Australia’s economy has weakened due to containment measures to combat new outbreaks of the virus. Once the economy reopens and the recovery resumes, the focus should turn to reforms to revive productivity growth, lift living standards and strengthen resilience, according to a new OECD report. The latest OECD Economic Survey of Australia notes that while the pandemic interrupted a 28-year run of uninterrupted growth, Australia’s initial downturn was mild compared to most OECD countries and the rebound was swift, thanks to generous ...

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CLIs point to moderating growth

The OECD Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, indicate that growth remains at above-trend levels but is moderating in the OECD area as a whole. Among the major OECD economies, the signs of a moderating growth at above-trend levels, flagged in last month’s assessment, have been confirmed in Canada, the euro area as a whole, including Germany and Italy,and in the United Kingdom. In France the CLI points to a moderation in the pace of growth and remains below trend levels. ...

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Europe: continue to support recovery and improve future resilience with reforms to economic architecture, says OECD

Europe’s economy is growing again after COVID-19 caused its worst-ever recession, helped by swift and powerful policy action by European governments and institutions to cushion the shock. Returning to pre-pandemic levels will not be enough. The crisis has raised new challenges and compounded some existing weaknesses, such as regional inequalities. Implementing reforms to boost growth potential, with macroeconomic policies supportive until the recovery is firmly established and while continuing to strengthen Europe’s economic architecture, will be key for a stronger and sustainable recovery, according to two new OECD reports. The ...

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Launch of reports on ASEAN’s logistics industry to drive growth and regional economic integration

Bandar Seri Begawan – ASEAN and the OECD launched the OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Logistics Sector in ASEAN and the OECD Competitive Neutrality Reviews: Small-Package Delivery Services in ASEAN reports at the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting today. The reports identified legislative and regulatory issues in the bloc’s logistics services sector that would hinder it from reaching its full potential. The reports provided robust, pragmatic, non-binding policy recommendations to ASEAN governments to help the industry boost overall growth and expedite its recovery from the negative economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. ...

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OECD unemployment rate falls further to 6.2% in July 2021

The OECD area unemployment rate fell to 6.2% in July 2021, from 6.4% in June, 0.9 percentage point above the pre-pandemic rate observed in February 2020.[1] Some care is needed in interpreting the fall in the OECD area unemployment rate compared to the April 2020 peak, as it largely reflects the return of temporary laid-off workers in the United States and Canada, where they are recorded as unemployed.[2] The number of unemployed workers across the OECD area fell by 1.6 million in July 2021, reaching 41.1 million. In the euro ...

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OECD annual inflation picks up to 4.2% in July 2021

Year-on-year inflation in the OECD area increased to 4.2% in July 2021, compared with 4.0% in June. Inflation in the euro area (at 2.2% in July) remained significantly lower than in the OECD area as a whole, and especially than in the United States (at 5.4%). Energy prices in the OECD area rose at a faster pace in July than in June. Their inflation reached 17.4% in July, compared with 16.9% in June. Food price inflation also increased sharply to 3.1%, compared with 1.9% in June. OECD annual inflation excluding ...

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OECD GDP still below pre-pandemic levels, despite accelerating GDP growth of 1.6% in the second quarter of 2021

Gross domestic product (GDP) of the OECD area still remains below pre-pandemic levels, despite increasing growth in the second quarter of 2021, by 1.6% from 0.6% in the previous quarter, according to provisional estimates. For the Major Seven economies as a whole, GDP growth increased to 1.6% (from 0.4%) in the second quarter of 2021, but with strong variations across countries. The United Kingdom recorded the strongest growth (4.8% from minus 1.6% in the previous quarter), followed by Italy (2.7% from 0.2% in the previous quarter). GDP also increased in ...

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Value of G20 merchandise trade at new high in Q2 2021 but signs of easing growth

The second quarter of 2021 saw international merchandise trade for the G20, as measured in seasonally adjusted current US dollars, reach a new high following the record levels already posted in Q1 2021. G20 merchandise exports and imports increased by 4.1% and 6.4% in Q2 2021 compared to the previous quarter, showing a slowdown compared with the rates posted in Q1 2021 (8.6% and 8.5% for exports and imports, respectively). Like in the previous quarter, rising commodity prices explain a large part of the increase, as congestion in international shipping ...

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IMF’s $650 billion reserves distribution is ‘shot in arm’ for global economy- Georgieva

The IMF will distribute about $650 billion in new Special Drawing Rights to its members on Monday, providing a “significant shot in the arm” for global efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said. The International Monetary Fund’s largest-ever distribution of monetary reserves will provide additional liquidity for the global economy, supplementing member countries’ foreign exchange reserves and reducing their reliance on more expensive domestic or external debt, Georgieva said in a statement. “The allocation is a significant shot in the arm for the world and, if ...

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IMF chief tells central African countries to coordinate macroeconomic policies

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said she urged the leaders of six central African countries on Wednesday to closely coordinate their macroeconomic policies to boost external and internal stability in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Monetary Fund chief said she held fruitful discussions with the central African leaders on the economic impact of the global health crisis and other challenges facing the region, as well as the need for continued structural reforms. In a statement, she said she also urged the leaders to devote an upcoming allocation ...

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Signs Of Moderating Growth In Most Major Economies

The OECD Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, show signs of moderating pace of growth at above-trend levels in the OECD area as a whole and in most major economies. The latest CLIs point to signs of moderating pace of growth at above-trend level in the United States, Japan and Canada. Similar indications have emerged in the United Kingdom and in the euro area as a whole, including Germany and Italy. In France, there are also signs of moderating pace of ...

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Managing the Political Economy of Climate Change Policies

Few issues have sparked more attention than how to avoid environmental and human catastrophe from climate change. But even in the wake of massive public protests and an ambitious agenda since the 2015 Paris Agreement, governments are wary of the political costs of enacting climate mitigation policies. In recent IMF staff research, we identify strategies that can minimize or even eliminate such challenges. In the first analysis of its kind, we combined information on the political aftermath (governmental popular support) of policy changes with information on the policy changes themselves ...

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OECD household income grows strongly in the first quarter of 2021, driven by significant fiscal expansion in the United States

Real household income per capita, which provides a better picture of people’s economic well-being than GDP, grew by 5.8% in the OECD area as a whole over the first quarter of 2021. The rise, the largest since 2008, is largely due to the United States’ significant increase in real household income, which is a direct result of the government’s recent fiscal support, including transfer payments made to households. This exceptional rise in incomes was much higher than the 0.5% increase in GDP per capita recorded in the OECD area during ...

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