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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Global saving and investment rates have fallen and current account imbalances have widened to unprecedented levels, yet real long-term interest rates remain low in most countries. How did the global economy arrive at this position? Some have argued that the catalyst is the substantial changes that have taken place in Asia, where saving has risen but investment has collapsed since the late 1990s. According to this view, the swing in the saving-investment gap—from deficit to large surplus—in emerging Asia has resulted in an excess global supply of saving (a