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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

countries; in most of the last group, the contractionary impact has been partly or fully offset by monetary easing. Emerging market currencies have generally depreciated. Sources: Bloomberg Financial Markets, LP; and Global Insight. 1 Australia and New Zealand. 2 Denmark, Narway, and Sweden. 3 Hong Kong SAR, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan Province of China. 4 Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela. 5 Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. 6 Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. Commodity markets have continued to be heavily influenced

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The potential risks associated with high public debt have long been a concern of economic policymakers around the globe. In the industrial countries, the need to strengthen fiscal positions and reduce public debt to accommodate the pressures that population aging will put on government budgets in the future has received considerable attention in recent years (see, for example, the May 2001 World Economic Outlook; Economic Policy Committee, 2001; and Turner and others, 1998). For emerging market economies, high public debt has often had more immediate consequences for economic performance, with debt crises—and the resulting painful periods of economic adjustment—having been a recurring feature of the histories of many of these countries.