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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper provides a brief overview of Slovakia’s transformation over this period. The note is divided into three parts. The first section offers some historical background on the run-up to EU accession. The paper also discusses the economic impact of EU accession and highlights the main challenges that Slovakia still faces. Although the first decade in the EU has seen successes, Slovakia faces important challenges to consolidate its position and close the gap with more advanced economies. A first long-term challenge is to shift from efficiency to an innovation-driven growth model. Actions to improve the business environment and domestic infrastructure could lay the foundations for stronger and more job-rich growth. In Slovakia, the high unemployment rate reflects the faulty working of three key mechanisms: the transition from school to work; the transition from unemployment back to employment; and mobility across regions. In order to address this situation, wide-ranging policies need to be implemented. The quality of education and training needs to be improved in order to better correspond to labor market needs. The ongoing reform of vocational education and training is a step in the right direction.
Mr. Ashvin Ahuja and Mr. Malhar S Nabar
Over the past decade, China’s growth model has become more reliant on investment and its footprint in global imports has widened substantially. Several economies within China’s supply chain are increasingly exposed to its investment-led growth and face growing risks from a deceleration in investment in China. This note quantifies potential global spillovers from an investment slowdown in China. It finds that a one percentage point slowdown in investment in China is associated with a reduction of global growth of just under one-tenth of a percentage point. The impact is about five times larger than in 2002. Regional supply chain economies and commodity exporters with relatively less diversified economies are most vulnerable to an investment slowdown in China. The spillover effects also register strongly across a range of macroeconomic, trade, and financial variables among G20 trading partners.
Mr. Ashvin Ahuja and Ms. Alla Myrvoda
Real estate investment accounts for a quarter of total fixed asset investment (FAI) in China. The real estate sector’s extensive industrial and financial linkages make it a special type of economic activity, especially where the credit creation process relies primarily on collateral, like in China. As a result, the impact on economic activity of a collapse in real estate investment in China—though a low-probability event—would be sizable, with large spillovers to a number of China’s trading partners. Using a two-region factor-augmented vector autoregression model that allows for interaction between China and the rest of the G20 economies, we find that a 1-percent decline in China’s real estate investment would shave about 0.1 percent off China’s real GDP within the first year, with negative spillover impacts to China’s G20 trading partners that would cause global output to decline by roughly 0.05 percent from baseline. Japan, Korea, and Germany would be among the hardest hit. In that event, commodity prices, especially metal prices, could fall by as much as 0.8–2.2 percent below baseline one year after the shock.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Q&A in this issue features seven questions about Large Fiscal Consolidation Attempts in the Past and Implications for Policymakers Today (by Fuad Hasanov and Paolo Mauro). The research summaries are "Booms and Busts" (by Roberto Piazza) and " Did Export Diversification Soften the Impact of the Global Financial Crisis?" (by Rafael Romeu). The issue also provides details on visiting scholars at the IMF (mainly from September through December 2011), as well as recently published IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes.
Mr. Martin Sommer
The Japanese economy has been hit hard by the slump in global demand for advanced manufacturing products such as cars, information technology, and machinery, which account for a larger share of production than in other G-7 economies. Most of the drop in Japan’s exports was caused by a sharp retrenchment in overseas demand for motor vehicles, information technology, and capital goods, as firms and consumers cut their investment and durable goods spending in response to the global credit crunch and extraordinary uncertainties about the outlook. Worsening domestic financial conditions deepened the current recession by reducing domestic demand, especially business investment. The short-term outlook is further clouded by the needed adjustment to inventories, which have accumulated well above normal levels in both Japan and its export markets. During the 2001 recession, industrial production started recovering about 5 months after the peak of the inventory cycle. By analogy, one could expect a bottom in industrial production around May 2009. However, since the global environment is expected to remain weak and the Japanese economy faces headwinds from tight domestic financial conditions, the production adjustment could take longer during this recession.
Mr. Sebastian Sosa
This paper examines the relative importance of external shocks as sources of business cycle fluctuations in Mexico, and identifies the dynamic responses of domestic output to foreign disturbances. Using a VAR model with block exogeneity restrictions, it finds that U.S. shocks explain a large share of Mexico's macroeconomic fluctuations after NAFTA. This partly reflects greater trade integration-but also Mexico's "Great Moderation," as the country escaped its former pattern of macro-financial crises. In this period, Mexico's output fluctuations have been closely synchronized with the U.S. cycle, with a large and rapid impact of U.S. shocks on Mexican growth.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes external shocks and business cycle fluctuations in Mexico. The paper examines the relative importance of U.S. demand shocks—and other foreign disturbances—in explaining Mexican output fluctuations. It identifies the dynamic response of Mexico’s output to those shocks. The paper investigates which U.S. variables are most relevant to explaining business cycles in Mexico. It analyses potential spillovers and channels of transmission underlying the linkages between the United States and Mexican economies, and focuses on one aspect of the development of the Mexican private mortgage market, the market for mortgage-backed securities.
Mrs. Poonam Gupta and Mr. James P. F. Gordon
This paper analyzes the factors behind the recent growth of India's services sector. The high growth of services output in the 1990s was mostly due to the rapid expansion of communication, banking, business services (including the IT sector) and community services. While factors such as a high income elasticity of demand for services, increasing input usage of services by other sectors, and rising exports, were important in boosting services growth in the 1990s, supply side factors including reforms and technological advances also played significant roles. Going forward, the growth potential of Indian services exports is well known, but the paper also finds considerable scope for growth in the Indian service economy provided that deregulation continues. In addition, the paper shows that employment growth in the Indian services sector has been quite modest, thus underscoring the need for industry and agriculture to also grow rapidly.
Mr. Athanasios Vamvakidis and Mr. Sergei Dodzin
This paper examines the impact of international trade on industrialization in developing agricultural economies. The findings show that developing agricultural economies that increased their openness during 1970-95 experienced an increase in their share of industrial production at the expense of agricultural production. This is in contrast to what many policymakers in these economies have often argued when trying to promote industrialization by restricting trade. The paper presents an infant industry model with learning effects from imports of manufacturing products that is consistent with the supporting empirical results.
Mr. Patrick P. Walsh and Mr. Alexander Repkine
We examine industrial output in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, and Romania during 1989–95 in terms of pretransitional product trade orientation. The growth of EU-oriented output within sectors of industry, ex-post trade, and market liberalization, is modeled as foreign direct investment induced Schumpeterian (vertical) waves of product innovation. The growth of non-EU-oriented output within sectors is modeled as unobservable deterministic heterogeneity. The results indicate that the gap observed in industrial output performance when comparing Eastern European to former Soviet countries is mainly explained by the inherited presence of EU-oriented production and its unconstrained growth over the transition period.