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Fabio Berton, Sauro Mocetti, Mr. Andrea F Presbitero, and Matteo Richiardi
We analyze the employment effects of financial shocks using a rich data set of job contracts, matched with the universe of firms and their lending banks in one Italian region. To isolate the effect of the financial shock we construct a firm-specific time-varying measure of credit supply. The contraction in credit supply explains one fourth of the reduction in employment. This result is concentrated in more levered and less productive firms. Also, the relatively less educated and less skilled workers with temporary contracts are the most affected. Our results are consistent with the cleansing role of financial shocks.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the impact of alternative fiscal consolidation strategies on Namibia’s growth. It uses a model developed at the IMF to gain insights on what would be a growth-friendly composition of the fiscal adjustment. The analysis suggests that a combined strategy of revenue and expenditure measures has lower negative effects on growth than a pure expenditure-based adjustment. Structural reforms improving the efficiency of public investment can further reduce the negative effect of consolidation on growth, and potentially strengthen growth. Overall, minimizing the negative impact of fiscal consolidation on growth requires combining revenue and expenditure measures, together with fiscal structural reforms.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the conditions under which Italian banks can earn sufficient profits to grow out of their asset quality problems, rebuild capital buffers, and finance the real economy. A bottom-up analysis of the 15 largest Italian banks suggests that restoring sustainable profitability depends heavily on the growth outlook. Many banks are expected to become more profitable as the economy recovers, but their capacity to lend depends on the size of their capital buffers. However, a number of smaller banks face substantial profitability pressures, highlighting the need to reduce the large stock of nonperforming loans and for further cost cutting and efficiency gains.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the impact of workforce aging on productivity in the euro area. The euro area population has aged considerably over the past few decades, and the process is expected to accelerate in the years ahead. At the same time, labor productivity growth in the euro area has been sluggish, posing risks to long-term growth prospects. It is estimated that workforce aging could significantly retard total factor productivity (TFP) growth over the medium to long term. Given current demographic projections from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the aging of the workforce in the euro area could lower TFP growth by about 0.2 percentage points each year between 2014 and 2035. Appropriate policies can, however, mitigate the adverse effects of aging.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This report discusses key issues related to the economy of Portugal. Highly accommodative macroeconomic conditions have generated only modest growth in the presence of remaining structural impediments. In 2015, low interest rates, a weak euro, and low oil prices remained largely in place, allowing growth to reach 1.5 percent. The 2016 budget proposal appears insufficiently ambitious to put public debt on a firmly downward trajectory, with significant risks to execution. Bank balance sheets need to be strengthened to avoid further negative surprises and protect taxpayers. Envisaged labor and product market policies imply at least a partial reversal of structural measures introduced during the IMF-supported program.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper on Kuwait focuses on recent development in investment companies (ICs) and the business environment in the country. ICs continue to be vulnerable to swings in financial and real estate markets. They continue to have large exposures to domestic, regional, and international equity and real estate markets. Local banks’ lending to ICs declined in 2010–11 owing to banks’ write-offs of ICs loans. The financial situation of many ICs remains precarious, and there are 15 listed investment companies in a dire situation.
International Monetary Fund
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that growth in Finland has outpaced the euro area average. Inflation is among the lowest in the European Union, and the external current account and general government budget are both comfortably in surplus. The labor market has improved markedly since 2005, with rising participation rates and comparatively strong employment growth. The unemployment rate has dipped below the euro area average, and hovers near estimates of the structural unemployment rate.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund
The Selected Issues paper provides an overview of trends, performance export growth, value added, and employment, account of the structure and evolution of Lesotho's textiles during the decade through 2002, and discusses future prospects and key issues. It analyzes the implications of the phasing-out of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and also reviews the HIV/AIDS situation in Lesotho. It discusses the current situation, the measures to enhance financial intermediation, and the Southern African Customs Union Arrangement and its effects on revenues. The paper also includes the summary of tax systems, July 2003, and the exchange trade system.