The strong post-pandemic economic recovery was leading to an overheating economy and demand-side inflationary pressures. The war in Ukraine, including its impact on commodity prices, has, however, negatively impacted economic activity and further intensified inflationary pressures. With higher inflation for longer, policies should aim at preserving stability over the near-term while supporting the economy adapt to a higher interest rate environment over the medium-term. Although the current sociopolitical situation is less conducive to structural reforms, these remain key to ensuring sustained productivity growth that will support high wage growth and faster income convergence with Western Europe.
With a demonstrated resilience to the crisis and the recovery gaining strength, macroeconomic policies should aim at preserving stability and complementing structural reforms that address long-standing challenges. A medium-term plan to rebuild buffers, support potential growth, and target pockets of vulnerability would help address pre-existing disparities and poverty. Sustained productivity growth, supported by the implementation of politically difficult but needed structural reforms, is the only way to support high wage growth and convergence with Western Europe. Failure to do so could jeopardize Lithuania’s hard-earned competitiveness gains.
Antoine Berthou, John Jong-Hyun Chung, Kalina Manova, and Charlotte Sandoz
We examine the gains from globalization in the presence of firm heterogeneity and potential resource misallocation. We show theoretically that without distortions, bilateral and export liberalizations increase aggregate welfare and productivity, while import liberalization has ambiguous effects. Resource misallocation can either amplify, dampen or reverse the gains from trade. Using model-consistent measures and unique new data on 14 European countries and 20 industries in 1998-2011, we empirically establish that exogenous shocks to export demand and import competition both generate large aggregate productivity gains. Guided by theory, we provide evidence consistent with these effects operating through reallocations across firms in the presence of distortions: (i) Both export and import expansion increase average firm productivity, but the former also shifts activity towards more productive firms, while the latter acts in reverse; (ii) Both export and import exposure raise the productivity threshold for survival, but this cut-off is not a sufficient statistic for aggregate productivity; (iii) Efficient institutions, factor and product markets amplify the gains from import competition but dampen those from export access.
Emerging economies in the post-crisis period increasingly saw portfolio debt inflows from a type of large international investment fund: Multi-Sector Bond Funds (MSBFs). These investors have lacked adequate representation in the literature. This paper constructs a new detailed database from micro-level MSBF emerging market (EM) holdings from 2009:Q4–2018:Q2. Exploiting this data, the paper assesses the risks they pose to the financial stability of specific emerging bond markets. The data shows that MSBFs are highly concentrated–both in their positions and their decision-making. The empirical results further suggest that MSBFs exhibit opportunistic behavior (and more so than other investment funds). In periods of high risk aversion, large MSBF portfolio reallocations out of EMs can be associated with underperformance of the same markets, signaling the importance of monitoring their footprint and better understanding their asset allocation decisions.