Data recently released on the first-quarter global domestic product (GDP) performance of major economies have showed how significant the impact of COVID-19 has been on economic activity and jobs, with large contractions across the board. The ongoing global recession is poised to be worse than the “great recession” after the 2008-09 global financial crisis, especially from the standpoint of emerging market and developing economies. The depth and speed of the GDP decline will rival that of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
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In a previous article, we highlighted how developing economies have faced simultaneous shocks from their external environment, as pandemic and recession curves have unfolded abroad (Canuto, 2020a). In addition to financial shocks, there have been declines in remittances, tourism receipts, and commodity prices (Canuto, 2020b). The combination of these shocks with the hardships related to flattening domestic infection curves has configured what we have called a ‘perfect storm’ for developing countries, brought by COVID-19 (Canuto, 2020c).
The global reach of COVID-19 is now clear. In a short time, country after country has suffered outbreaks of the new coronavirus, with each facing a three-fold shock: epidemiologic, economic, and financial. In addition to dealing with their own local coronavirus outbreaks, emerging market and developing countries have faced additional shocks from abroad.
The outbreak in China has already affected economic sectors in Latin America. Is there more to come?
China’s economy has come to a sudden stop. Large parts of the country remain in shutdown mode after the end of the Lunar New Year holiday, with national passenger traffic declining by 85% on the Wednesday after the break compared to 2019.
The hike in tariffs imposed by the United States against its major trading partners since early 2018 has been unprecedented in recent history. President Trump alluded to, among others, the goal of revitalizing jobs in the country’s manufacturing industry by protecting it from unfair trade practices of other countries, particularly China. However, according to a study by two Federal Reserve Bank staff – Aaron Flaaen and Justin Pierce – released last December 23, the effect so far has been just the opposite, i.e. a reduction in U.S. manufacturing employment!
Following the global financial crisis of 2007-08, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) went through a period of self-examination. The old joke that its acronym stood for “It’s Mostly Fiscal” bothered some of its leaders, who believed the organization needed to focus less on austerity and more thoroughly consider issues such as inequality, poverty reduction and gender equality when making loans and other key decisions. There was talk of a “new IMF” that had learned from its old mistakes.
The Trump government has been imposing restrictions on access to technologies by Chinese telecommunications firms. Why and what are the consequences?
The Federal Communications Commission is about to ban carriers from using government funds to buy equipment from Huawei and ZTE. Other government agencies are expected to take similar measures.
As world leaders gathered this month for high-level talks at the 74th United Nations General Assembly, pressing global issues were at the forefront of discussions, including progress toward the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While taking stock of how far we have come in realizing commitments in key areas, including to end poverty and hunger, expand access to health, education, justice and jobs, promote inclusive and sustained economic growth, and protect our planet from environmental degradation, heads of state and government convened at the SDG Summit also faced heightened pressure to increase actions and implementation efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda goals and concrete targets agreed upon in 2015.
Since the Fed’s July meeting, when the Fed Funds Rate had a 0.25% cut, fears about the impact of the US-China trade war on the global economy have escalated. The US yield curve inversion received much attention as a harbinger of a slowdown in the global and US economic outlooks. We approach here whether lights on next monetary policy events can be obtained from reading the minutes of the Fed’s meeting – and of the July meeting of the ECB governing council – released this week.