Business and Economics > Industries: General

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Min Zhu, Ms. Longmei Zhang, and Daoju Peng
China’s growth potential has become a hotly debated topic as the economy has reached an income level susceptible to the “middle-income trap” and financial vulnerabilities are mounting after years of rapid credit expansion. However, the existing literature has largely focused on macro level aggregates, which are ill suited to understanding China’s significant structural transformation and its impact on economic growth. To fill the gap, this paper takes a deep dive into China’s convergence progress in 38 industrial sectors and 11 services sectors, examines past sectoral transitions, and predicts future shifts. We find that China’s productivity convergence remains at an early stage, with the industrial sector more advanced than services. Large variations exist among subsectors, with high-tech industrial sectors, in particular the ICT sector, lagging low-tech sectors. Going forward, ample room remains for further convergence, but the shrinking distance to the frontier, the structural shift from industry to services, and demographic changes will put sustained downward pressure on growth, which could slow to 5 percent by 2025 and 4 percent by 2030. Digitalization, SOE reform, and services sector opening up could be three major forces boosting future growth, while the risks of a financial crisis and a reversal in global integration in trade and technology could slow the pace of convergence.
Ezgi O. Ozturk and Xuguang Simon Sheng
Motivated by the literature on the capital asset pricing model, we decompose the uncertainty of a typical forecaster into common and idiosyncratic uncertainty. Using individual survey data from the Consensus Forecasts over the period of 1989-2014, we develop monthly measures of macroeconomic uncertainty covering 45 countries and construct a measure of global uncertainty as the weighted average of country-specific uncertainties. Our measure captures perceived uncertainty of market participants and derives from two components that are shown to exhibit strikingly different behavior. Common uncertainty shocks produce the large and persistent negative response in real economic activity, whereas the contributions of idiosyncratic uncertainty shocks are negligible.
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.
Mr. Marco Marini and Mr. Tommaso Di Fonzo
Statistical offices have often recourse to benchmarking methods for compiling quarterly national accounts (QNA). Benchmarking methods employ quarterly indicator series (i) to distribute annual, more reliable series of national accounts and (ii) to extrapolate the most recent quarters not yet covered by annual benchmarks. The Proportional First Differences (PFD) benchmarking method proposed by Denton (1971) is a widely used solution for distribution, but in extrapolation it may suffer when the movements in the indicator series do not match consistently the movements in the target annual benchmarks. For this reason, an enhanced formula for extrapolation was recommended by the IMF’s Quarterly National Accounts Manual: Concepts, Data Sources, and Compilation (2001). We discuss the rationale behind this technique, and propose a matrix formulation of it. In addition, we present applications of the enhanced formula to artificial and real-life benchmarking examples showing how the extrapolations for the most recent quarters can be improved.
Mr. Jochen R. Andritzky, Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister, and Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa
This paper examines how emerging bond markets react to macroeconomic announcements. Global bond spreads respond to rating actions and changes in global interest rates rather than domestic data and policy announcements. All announcements affect market volatility. Data and policy announcements reduce uncertainty and stabilize the trading environment, while rating actions cause greater volatility. Results are broadly robust to country-specific and panel analyses, assuming conditional variance and controlling for the surprise content of news. In subsamples, announcements are found to matter less for countries with more transparent policies and higher credit ratings. In a crisis, rating actions become less important, and investors focus more on simple and timely indicators, like CPI.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper focuses on some of the key stylized facts of Korean business and export cycles over 1960–2001, and calculates a chronology for the classical cycle in these series by applying a variant of the Bry and Boschan (1971) cycle-doling algorithm. It highlights that the Korean classical business cycle and exports cycles are extremely asymmetric, as they exhibit long-lived expansions and much shorter-lived contractions. The results also indicate that the probability of ending a contraction or expansion phase in Korean industrial production and Korean real exports is independent of their duration.
Mr. C. John McDermott, Mr. Eswar S Prasad, and Pierre-Richard Agénor
This paper documents the main stylized features of macroeconomic fluctuations for 12 developing countries. Cross-correlations between domestic industrial output and a large group of macroeconomic variables (including fiscal variables, wages, inflation, money, credit, trade, and exchange rates) are presented. Also analyzed are the effects of industrial country economic conditions on output fluctuations in these countries. The robustness of the results is examined using different detrending procedures. The results indicate many similarities between macroeconomic fluctuations in developing and industrial countries (procyclical real wages; countercyclical variation in government expenditure) and some important differences (countercyclical variation in the velocity of monetary aggregates).
Norman Loayza, J. Humberto Lopez, and Mr. Angel J. Ubide
This paper analyzes common economic patterns across countries and economic sectors in Latin America, East Asia and Europe for the period 1970–94 by means of an error-components model that decomposes real value added growth in each country into common international effects, sector-specific effects and country-specific effects. We find significant comovements in the European and East Asian samples. In the Latin American sample, however, we find country-specific components to be more important than common patterns. These results are robust to different sub-sample time spans and different sub-sample country groups.