Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The IMF WEO is out

The new IMF World Economic Outlook (WEO) is out with its two analytical chapters. Next week they release the other two chapters that present an overview of the current state of the world economy. I am quite sure they have been doing a lot of rewriting in the last days trying to cope with the constant changes in economic scenarios.

The two analytical chapters for this September 2011 edition are about monetary policy when commodity prices are volatile and an event study on the relationship between fiscal policy and current account imbalances. Both chapters are very interesting and can be accessed at the IMF web site.

The chapter on fiscal policy and current account imbalances is close to a recent paper I wrote with a group of economists at the IMF fiscal affairs department. We presented our work at a recent IMF conference on fiscal policy issues (schedule and papers at the conference web site). Our results are not far from those discussed in the IMF WEO this month: there is a strong empirical connection between fiscal policy changes and current account imbalances. This is a relevant topic for policy makers as they are trying to correct imbalances on both the fiscal policy side and the current account side - so we need to know if the efforts are complementary (i.e. does a reduction in the government deficit help reduce current account deficits and by how much?).

Antonio Fatás
on September 14, 2011 |   Edit