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IMF: How social unrest can inspire changes in policy

Protests driven by the pandemic’s economic fallout are on the rise, with potentially long-lasting economic consequences. Protests can be catalysts for political reform and social change. But what impact do they have on the economy? According to the latest Global Peace Index, the number of riots, general strikes and anti-government demonstrations around the world have increased by a staggering 244 percent in the last decade. Lockdowns and fears of contagion forced a temporary lull. But in virtually every region of the world, demonstrators are making a comeback. Causes range from ...

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CLIs continue to expand steadily

The OECD Composite leading indicators (CLIs), designed to anticipate turning points in economic activity relative to trend, continue to expand steadily in the OECD area as a whole and in some large emerging-market economies. Among major OECD economies, the CLIs remain above trend and continue to expand at a steady pace in the United States, Japan and Canada as well as in the euro area as a whole, including Germany and Italy. The CLI for the United Kingdom is still expanding and has now reached above trend levels. In France, ...

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IMF board backs $650 bln reserves distribution, targets end-August completion

The International Monetary Fund said on Friday its executive board has backed a $650 billion allocation of IMF Special Drawing Rights, advancing the distribution of currency reserves to the IMF’s 190 member countries towards a targeted completion by the end of August. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said she will now present the SDR allocation proposal, the largest in the Fund’s 77-year history, to its Board of Governors, with representatives from every IMF country. “This is a shot in the arm for the world,” Georgieva said in a statement released ...

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Rich nations should put $30 bln of IMF cash towards Africa investments – African ministers

Rich countries should reallocate at least $30 billion of new money from the International Monetary Fund towards investments in Africa to help countries battling the effects of coronavirus and climate change, four African finance ministers said. In an open letter to the leaders of the Group of 20 leading economies, finance ministers from Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast and Nigeria also urged the rich nations to increase support for poorer countries’ COVID vaccination drive. The IMF has taken steps to implement a new $650 billion allocation – ...

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IMF chief upbeat on growth prospects in central and eastern Europe

The economies of countries in central and eastern Europe will grow at a faster rate than those in western Europe in the next few years, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday. She told a summit of the Three Seas Initiative, which brings together 12 European Union member states that are mainly in central and eastern Europe and the Baltics, that the countries’ combined GDP should this year return to the level seen before the COVID-19 pandemic. “We expect that the year 2021 would be when the ...

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IMF chief sees risk of sustained rise in U.S. inflation

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday said further fiscal support in the United States could fuel inflationary pressures and warned that the risk of a sustained rise in prices could require raising interest rates earlier-than-expected. Higher U.S. interest rates, in turn, could lead to a sharp tightening of global financial conditions and significant capital outflows from emerging and developing economies, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said in a blog published Wednesday with the IMF’s surveillance note for G20 countries. The IMF’s assessment of U.S. inflation risks comes amid sharp criticism ...

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Jobs must be at heart of recovery to avoid deep scars in economy and society, says OECD

The strong economic recovery underway across OECD countries is yet to fully translate into enough new jobs to get employment levels back to pre-pandemic levels in most member economies according to a new OECD report. The OECD Employment Outlook 2021 says that across OECD countries around 22 million jobs were lost across OECD countries in 2020 compared to 2019 and 114 million around the world. In the OECD area, despite a partial recovery, there are still over 8 million more unemployed than before the crisis, and over 14 million more ...

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IMF chief warns of ‘dangerous divergence’ in COVID recovery

The head of the International Monetary Fund warned on Monday of a “dangerous divergence” between developed and developing countries as they seek to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Kristalina Georgieva said that strong growth in wealthy countries like the United States was “good news” but developing countries were being held back by slow vaccination rates. “That is danger for the coherence of growth and it is also a danger for global stability and security,” she told the Paris Peace Forum. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Matthias Blamont and Emma Farge)

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OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook presents production, consumption, trade and price trends for the coming decade – Global agri-food systems need to transform to reach SDGs by 2030

With less than 10 years until the 2030 deadline for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), governments need to step up their efforts to meet global food security and environmental targets, according to a new report released yesterday by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Although progress towards the SDGs is expected to be made in the coming decade – assuming a fast recovery from the global COVID-19 pandemic, and stable weather conditions and policy environments ...

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OECD annual inflation surges to 3.8% in May 2021

Year-on-year inflation in the OECD area increased to 3.8% in May 2021, compared with 3.3% in April. Energy prices rose by 18.6% in May, the highest rate since September 2008, compared with 16.3% in April. Nevertheless, food price inflation continued to slow to 1.4%, compared with 1.6% in April. Developments in energy and food prices are largely related to base year effects and to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic a year ago. OECD annual inflation excluding food and energy also increased significantly to 2.9% in May, compared with 2.4% ...

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IMF says encouraged by tax agreement; urges holdout countries to join up

The head of the International Monetary Fund welcomed an agreement by 130 countries to back a global corporate minimum tax, and said work would continue to bring others into the fold. “Very clearly, this train finally has left the station,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva told reporters. “Work will continue to make sure that the countries that are not yet on board … can recognize their own interests,” she added. Source: Reuters (Reporting by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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130 countries and jurisdictions join bold new framework for international tax reform

130 countries and jurisdictions have joined a new two-pillar plan to reform international taxation rules and ensure that multinational enterprises pay a fair share of tax wherever they operate. 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 90% of global GDP, joined the Statement establishing a new framework for international tax reform. A small group of the Inclusive Framework’s 139 members have not yet joined the Statement at this time. The remaining elements of the framework, including the implementation plan, will be finalised in October. The framework updates key elements of ...

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IMF raises U.S. 2021 growth forecast to 7%, assumes Biden spending plans pass

The International Monetary Fund raised its 2021 U.S. growth projection sharply to 7.0% due to a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and an assumption that much of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and social spending plans will be enacted. The IMF’s latest forecast, marking the fastest U.S. growth pace since 1984, compares with an April projection of 4.6% growth in 2021. The Fund raised its 2022 U.S. GDP growth forecast to 4.9%, up from its previous 3.5% April forecast. The new forecasts, contained in the IMF’s annual assessment of U.S. ...

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Strengthening corporate governance should be a priority to boost economic recovery, says OECD

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing structural weaknesses in the corporate sector and capital markets. Without an effective policy response, the number of undercapitalised and underperforming firms will likely rise and remain high, while an increasing amount of productive resources will be tied up in non-viable companies, dragging down investment and economic growth, according to a new OECD report. The Future of Corporate Governance in Capital Markets Following the COVID-19 Crisis says that substantial financial resources will be needed for investment both to support the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis ...

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Government support has helped save many SMEs but challenges remain – OECD

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs globally, but they are weathering the storm thanks to strong government support packages, according to a new OECD report. The OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2021 looks at measures taken to help SMEs survive, and in many cases thrive, during the pandemic. It also considers the longer-term effects of the crisis and how countries can create the conditions for a greener, more sustainable and inclusive recovery. The report finds that SMEs and entrepreneurs are fundamental in ...

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