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IMF chief optimistic G7 funds for Ukraine can stave off hyperinflation

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday she was “getting more optimistic” that a G7 agreement to provide new budget funding to Ukraine can be reached and can help the country avoid hyperinflation. Georgieva said on the sidelines of a G7 finance ministers’ and central bank governors’ meeting that the main issue for the funding would be its timing – avoiding delays that may push the country into monetary financing, where its central bank effectively funds the government. “You know, what happens if a country has to ...

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Unemployment rate in the OECD falls further to 5.1% in March 2022

The unemployment rate in the OECD fell further to 5.1% in March 2022, from 5.2% in February. This represents a continuation of a positive trend for the OECD and the 11th consecutive month of falling or stable unemployment, keeping it below the pre-pandemic rate of 5.3% recorded in February 2020 (Figure 1). Indeed, the unemployment rate was below the pre-pandemic rate in two-thirds of OECD countries in March, compared with just half of them in February (Figure 2). Moreover, the number of unemployed workers in the OECD continued to fall, ...

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Leading indicators continue to point to growth losing momentum in Europe

The OECD Composite leading indicators (CLIs) continue to point to growth losing momentum in Europe and to stable growth in the OECD area as a whole. In Europe, shaped by surging inflation and declining expectations in manufacturing, the CLIs continue to indicate growth losing momentum in the euro area as a whole, including in France, Germany and Italy, as well as in the United Kingdom. Outside Europe, the CLIs continue to point to stable growth in Canada, Japan and the United States. Stable growth also continues to be anticipated in ...

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Household income falls slightly in OECD area in Q4 2021, despite continuing GDP growth

In the OECD area, GDP per capita rose by 1.2% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2021, but real household income per capita fell by 0.3% (Figure 1). Real household income per capita has stagnated during the past six months and trailed growth in GDP per capita for the third consecutive quarter. While the trend in GDP per capita reflects the recovery in economic activity after sharp declines in the early stages of the pandemic, the trend in household income per capita reflects, among other things, reductions in pandemic-related government ...

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Inflation in the OECD area surges to 8.8% in March 2022 as energy prices continue to rise

Consumer prices in the OECD area rose by 8.8% year-on-year in March 2022, compared with 7.8% in February 2022, and just 2.4% in March 2021; it was their sharpest increasesince October 1988. Around one fifth of OECD countries recorded double-digit inflation, with the highest rate in Turkey at 61.1%. Energy price inflation in the OECD soared to 33.7% year-on-year in March, up from 26.6% in February, its highest rate since May 1980. Excluding food and energy, year-on-year inflation increased to 5.9% in March, after 5.6% in February 2022. Year-on-year inflation ...

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Inflation to be Elevated for Longer on War, Demand, Job Markets

The war in Ukraine will quicken inflation, which we now expect to remain elevated for longer than previously forecast on higher commodity costs and broader price pressures. As the Chart of the Week shows, our latest World Economic Outlook now projects faster consumer-price increases this year for advanced economies as well as in emerging market and developing economies. These forecasts also have a high degree of uncertainty. Russia’s invasion of its neighbor will likely have a protracted impact on commodities, affecting oil and gas prices more severely this year and ...

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Navigating the Economic Obstacle Course while Addressing Long-Term Challenges: The Role of IMF Capacity Development

Thank you, Dominique. I am very pleased to chair today’s important event, which is already becoming a semi-annual tradition. This dialogue, as you know, aims to further strengthen our partnership in capacity development to respond to countries’ immediate and long-term needs. We look forward to hearing from you as much as sharing with you our experience and priorities, particularly at a time when policymakers face immense challenges. As we enter the third year of the pandemic, the global economy is facing a combination of shocks and policy challenges rarely seen ...

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Ukraine war to curb Central Asian economy, oil cushions Middle East -IMF

The war in Ukraine will sharply reduce economic growth in the Central Asian region in 2022, although higher oil prices will lessen the impact for the Middle East and North Africa, the International Monetary Fund said. Both regions will still feel the effect of surging commodity prices, and higher wheat prices alone could increase the Middle East and Central Asia’s combined external financing needs by up to $10 billion, the IMF said. “The war in Ukraine will be the dominant factor shaping the outlook, compounding global headwinds from faster-than-expected normalisation ...

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G20 debt relief talks should take three months, says IMF Africa head

Debt restructuring talks between creditor countries should take three months, the head of the IMF’s Africa Department told Reuters, amid criticisms of the slow speed of negotiations and calls for China to show leadership in tackling debt issues. South Africa has offered to co-chair Zambia’s creditor committee, following China’s pledge to do so at IMF meetings last week, but Zambia’s debt sustainability analysis has yet to be finalized, Abebe Aemro Selassie said in an interview. Zambia, which became the first pandemic-era default in 2020, Ethiopia and Chad all sought debt ...

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OECD countries advancing slowly on sustainable development targets by 2030

Despite progress made since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals (SDGs), OECD countries have met or are close to meeting only a quarter of the targets for which performance can be gauged, according to a new OECD report. Virtually all OECD countries are already securing basic economic needs and implementing the policy tools and frameworks mentioned in the 2030 Agenda. But progress towards 21 targets on issues such as ensuring no one is left behind, restoring trust in institutions and limiting pressures on ...

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IMF warns of ‘stagflationary’ risks in Asia, cuts growth outlook

The Asian region faces a “stagflationary” outlook, a senior International Monetary Fund (IMF) official warned on Tuesday, citing the Ukraine war, spike in commodity costs and a slowdown in China as creating significant uncertainty. While Asia’s trade and financial exposures to Russia and Ukraine are limited, the region’s economies will be affected by the crisis through higher commodity prices and slower growth in European trading partners, said Anne-Marie Gulde-Wolf, acting director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department. Moreover, she noted that inflation in Asia is also starting to pick ...

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Europe should use fiscal not monetary policy to deal with Ukraine war -IMF

European governments should deal with the economic consequences of the war in Ukraine through fiscal policy, to allow monetary policy to normalise in the face of high inflation, the International Monetary Fund said. In its regional economic outlook for Europe, the IMF said a protracted war in Ukraine would increase the number of refugees fleeing to Europe, compound supply-chain bottlenecks, add pressures to inflation and deepen output losses. The biggest risk, it said, was that Russia would suddenly stop supplying oil and gas to Europe, leading to significant output losses ...

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IMF warns of further market sell-offs as central banks adjust policy

The International Monetary Fund has warned of more market sell-offs as central banks try to combat higher inflation and ease back on pandemic stimulus measures. Market players had started the year on an optimistic footing, predicting some economic momentum on the back of an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, which would likely provide a boost to stocks. However, since Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 that outlook has worsened — with further supply chain shocks and energy price rises. “There is certainly a risk of further sell-offs,” Tobias Adrian, ...

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The employment rate in the OECD rises to 68.7% in Q4 2021, close to its pre-pandemic rate

The OECD employment rate, which is the percentage share of the working-age population with jobs, including both employees and self-employed, rose to 68.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021, from 68.2% in the third quarter, only 0.2 percentage point below the rate recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019. The OECD labour force participation rate – the share of the working-age population that is either employed or unemployed – slightly rose to 72.8%, again approaching the level recorded in the fourth quarter of 2019, as increases in employment were reflected ...

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IMF chief warns of risks from a prolonged China slowdown

A prolonged slowdown in China would have substantial global spillovers, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said, but added that Beijing has room to adjust policy to provide support. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday cut its growth forecast for China this year to 4.4 per cent, well below Beijing’s target of around 5.5 per cent, on the risks of widespread COVID-19 lockdowns and supply chain disruptions. In a video speech to the annual Boao Forum for Asia, Georgieva said China’s actions to counter its economic slowdown are vital for the ...

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