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IMF says U.S. monetary policy should focus more on inflation risks

The International Monetary Fund on Friday warned of intensifying inflationary pressures, especially in the United States, and new uncertainties caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19, and said U.S. central bankers should focus more on inflation risks. In a blog published Friday, IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath and Tobias Adrian, head of the fund’s monetary and capital markets division, warned that the resurgence of the pandemic and the Omicron variant had sharply increased uncertainty around global economic prospects. But they said the strength of the recovery and the magnitude of ...

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Inflation in the OECD area surges to 5.2% in October 2021, the highest rate in over two decades

Inflation in the OECD area surged to 5.2% in the 12 months to October 2021, compared with 4.6% in September, and just 1.2% in October 2020, reaching the highest rate since February 1997. In the euro area, inflation picked up markedly to 4.1% in October, from 3.4% in September and minus 0.3% a year earlier. However, it remained lower than in the OECD area as a whole, particularly compared with the United States where year-on-year inflation climbed from 5.4% in September to 6.2% in October, the highest rate since November ...

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Developing nations need to take steps to limit hit from local debt overhauls -IMF

Restructuring local sovereign debt burdens will likely play an increasingly important part in emerging markets, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), though governments need to take measures to limit the hit on local banks and investors. The share of debt issued by developing nations in their local markets has risen from 31% to 46% over the past two decades, the IMF’s Peter Breuer, Anna Ilyina and Hoang Pham found in a blog published on Wednesday. “On the one hand, domestic debt restructuring may be easier to accomplish,” the authors ...

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OECD Economic Outlook sees recovery continuing but warns of growing imbalances and risks

The global recovery is continuing but its momentum has eased and is becoming increasingly imbalanced according to the OECD’s latest Economic Outlook. The failure to ensure rapid and effective vaccination everywhere is proving costly with uncertainty remaining high due to the continued emergence of new variants of the virus. Output in most OECD countries has now surpassed where it was in late-2019 and is gradually returning to the path expected before the pandemic. However, lower-income economies, particularly ones where vaccination rates against COVID-19 are still low, are at risk of ...

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New report estimates there are 35 million “missing entrepreneurs” across the OECD area

Young people, women and seniors have fewer opportunities to transform their business ideas into reality, according to a new OECD report. They are faced with problems of access to finance, skills and networks that make it harder for them than for other groups in society to start-up their ventures. These “missing entrepreneurs” are costing economies ideas, innovation and jobs. The new OECD-European Union report “The Missing Entrepreneurs 2021” shows there could be an additional nine million people starting and managing new business in the European Union (EU) – and 35 ...

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How Trade Can Help Speed Asia’s Economic Recovery

Trade has historically been a powerful driver of economic growth and poverty alleviation in Asia, though the momentum of lowering trade barriers has slowed in recent years. While tariff barriers to trade in Asia are low overall, a new measure of nontariff barriers suggests those remain high in many Asian emerging markets and developing economies. Unlike tariffs, these barriers include policies that introduce frictions such as licensing requirements or restrictions on trade, payments, or exchanging foreign currencies. According to recent research, which was detailed in the IMF’s Asia-Pacific Regional Economic ...

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How Domestic Violence is a Threat to Economic Development

It’s being called the “shadow pandemic”—an increase in physical, sexual and emotional abuse of women is taking place amid the lockdowns and societal turmoil caused by the global health crisis. The evidence is only growing. In Nigeria, the number of reported cases of gender-violence linked to lockdowns increased by more than 130 percent. In Croatia, reported rapes increased by 228 percent during the first five months of 2020 compared to 2019. The economic costs of domestic violence are higher during downturns and could make recovery more challenging. For many women ...

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Data show how the COVID-19 pandemic has hit all aspects of people’s well-being

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only had devastating effects on physical health and mortality but has touched every aspect of people’s well-being, with far-reaching consequences for how we live and work, according to a new study by the OECD. COVID-19 and well-being: life in the pandemic says the virus caused a 16% increase in the average number of deaths across 33 OECD countries between March 2020 and early May 2021, compared with same period over the previous four years. Over the same time frame, survey data in the report reveal ...

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International trade continued to expand in the G20 in Q3 2021, as services pick up but merchandise trade growth slows

G20 merchandise trade growth in value terms saw a marked slowdown in the third quarter of 2021, albeit levels remain at record high partly reflecting strong commodity prices. Surging shipping costs and a recovery in travel spurred faster growth in trade in services, with exports for the G20 nearing 2019 levels. In Q3 2021 international merchandise trade for the G20 plateaued at a record high, following four quarters of sustained growth. G20 merchandise exports and imports increased by 0.9% and 0.4% in Q3 2021 compared with the previous quarter, as ...

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IMF urges China to tackle financial risks in ‘clear and coordinated’ fashion

China must address financial risks in a “clear and coordinated fashion” and temporarily shift its fiscal policy to a neutral stance from this year’s contractionary approach, International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a statement released on Friday (Nov 19). “China’s recovery is well advanced, but is unbalanced and momentum is slowing, even as downside risks are accumulating,” the IMF said in a statement from staff involved in the recently concluded 2021 Article IV consultation with China. The IMF blamed the slowdown to China’s rapid withdrawal of policy support, the hit ...

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IMF warns inflation could ‘become more sticky’ in some parts of world

Inflation could “become more sticky” in some parts of the world if supply chain disruptions continue or inflation expectations become de-anchored, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday. In the United States, the world’s largest economy, inflation is expected to move down in 2022, but policymakers should remain vigilant given upside risks, IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told a regular briefing. “Continued high levels of U.S. inflation may necessitate a more front-loaded policy response, which would pose a systemic downside for both the U.S. and the global economy,” he said. Rice ...

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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 rose above its pre-pandemic level for the first time in the third quarter of 2021, despite slower growth than in the second quarter. GDP in the OECD area rose by 0.5% between Q4 2019 and Q3 2021 according to provisional estimates, driven by the strong performance of the United States, Korea, Israel and some European countries. However, quarter-on-quarter GDP growth of the OECD area is estimated to have slowed to 0.9% in the third quarter of 2021, compared with 1.7% in the ...

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OECD Composite Leading Indicators Suggest Economic Growth Approaching Post-Pandemic Peak

The post-pandemic economic growth rebound may soon reach its peak in the OECD area as a whole according to the latest OECD Composite Leading Indicators. Signs of a possible upcoming peak in the growth of economic activity have emerged in the United States, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. In France, the CLI also indicates a possible peak ahead, though from below the long-term trend level. In Canada and the euro area as a whole, including Italy, the CLIs continue to point to a moderating pace of expansion. Among major ...

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Unemployment rate continues to fall in the OECD area, reaching 5.8% in September 2021

The monthly unemployment rate in the OECD area fell for the fifth consecutive month in September 2021, to 5.8% (from 6.0% in August), 0.5 percentage point above the pre-pandemic rate observed in February 2020. The number of unemployed workers across the OECD area continued to fall (by 1.1 million), reaching 38.7 million, still 3.3 million above the pre-pandemic level. The unemployment rate for the OECD area declined at the same pace among women (to 6.0% in September 2021, from 6.1% in August) and men (to 5.7%, from 5.8%), but declined ...

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IMF expects GCC reserves to grow by $300-$350 billion in three years on higher oil prices

The International Monetary Fund expects the foreign reserves of the six oil-rich Arab countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to increase by $300-$350 billion in the next three years, a senior official said on Tuesday. The GCC – which comprises Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman – “will benefit from the increase in oil prices”, Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF, told Asharq TV. Oil prices have risen about 60% from the start of the year as ...

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