Wednesday, April 21, 2010

IMF World Economic Outlook (April 2010)

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The Global Recovery Is Progressing; The Economic Bottom Is In

Overview
The International Monetary Fund has issued the World Economic Outlook and overall it is positive, that is, "the global recovery is proceeding better than expected, but at varying speeds". However, IMF mentions plenty of obstacles to get anywhere near the "good old days".  World growth for 2010 is expected to be +4.25%, i.e., faster in emerging and developing countries and "tepidly" in many advanced countries. "USA economic recovery is off to a better start than Europe or Japan".

Selected 2010 & 2011 % Growth Rates for World Output (GDP)
World +4.2, +4.3
Advanced Economies +2.3, +2.4
Emerging & Developing Economies +6.3, +6.5
United States +3.1, +2.6
Japan +1.9, +2.0
China +10.0, +9.9
Germany +1.2, +1.7
United Kingdom +1.3, +2.5
Euro Area +1.0, +1.5
India +8.8, +8.4
Russia +4.0, +3.3
Brazil +5.5, +4.1
Asia +6.9, +7.0
Europe +1.3, +1.9
South America & Mexico +4.4, +4.0
Middle East & North Africa +4.5, +4.8
Sub-Saharan Africa +4.7, +5.9

Financial System
"As the recovery has gained traction, risks to global financial stability have eased, but stability is not yet assured".

Bubbles
For the Bubble Watchers: "So far, there is no systemwide evidence of bubbles, although there are a few hot spots, and risk could build up over a longer-term horizon".

Sovereign Debt
"The key task ahead is to reduce sovereign vulnerabilities".  "Should include clear time frames to bring down gross debt-to-GDP ratios".  Entitlement reforms "should be implemented without delay" plus fully implementing planned 2010 fiscal stimulus to a "still fragile recovery".

Unemployment
Nothing of note here, implement usual macroeconomic policies to decrease unemployment and assist unemployed.

Financial Regulatory Reform
Do it!  Specifically addressed in the Global Financial Stability Report (November 2009).

Rebalancing Growth
The Gist: USA & UK cut debt and reduce trade deficits (slow down buying from China, lol) while China responds accordingly and develops internal economy.  These comments are aimed primarily at USA & UK versus primarily China, then other BRIC countries: "This means that economies that had excessive external deficits before the crisis need to consolidate their public finances in ways that limit damage to growth and demand. Concurrently, economies that ran excessive current account surpluses will need to further increase domestic demand to sustain growth, as excessive deficit economies scale back their demand".

My Brief Conclusion
The worst is over but certain policies to reduce sovereign debt need to be implemented by affected nations.  Financial system reform is necessary.  The worldwide recovery is underway and the emerging & developing countries should see strong, if not exceptional, GDP growth in 2010 & 2011.  The advanced countries GDP growth will vary and fiscal deficits and related sovereign debt need to be reduced.

Links
There's a lot of data and charts on all sorts of macroeconomic areas in the IMF report.

IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) - Rebalancing Growth, April 2010 -- Table of Contents: "World Economic Outlook"

The entire report, a .pdf download, is here.


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