In terms of size, the net income balance (IB) is comparable to the trade balance (TB) for many countries. Yet the role of the IB in mitigating external vulnerabilities or complicating external adjustment remains underexplored. This paper studies the role of the IB in stabilizing or destabilizing the current account over the cycle and in crises. Our results show that, due to a negative correlation with the TB, the IB significantly dampens the time series volatility of the current account for most countries. However, the IB generally does not improve during crisis episodes, so current account adjustment occurs entirely through improvements in the TB. The paper also estimates IB semi-elasticities with respect to the exchange rate (ER). Semi-elasticities are small for most countries, so the IB is generally not a significant channel through which the ER stabilizes the current account, and trade-based semi-elasticities are, with some important exceptions, good proxies for current account semi-elasticities used in external sector assessments.
Following a deep recession in 2020 and further contraction in 2021Q1, the euro area economy recovered rapidly in the second and third quarters thanks to high vaccination levels, increasing household and business adaptability to the virus, and continued forceful policy support. Looking ahead, while supply chain disruptions, elevated energy prices, and resurgences of Covid-19 cases—including those related to the Omicron variant—are likely to pose near-term headwinds to growth, the recovery is set to continue in 2022 as the impact of the pandemic on economic activity continues to weaken over time and supply-side constraints ease. Medium-term output losses relative to pre-crisis trends will vary significantly across countries and sectors as will the extent of labor market scarring. Price pressures are building up as production bottlenecks are set to persist for a while. However, inflation—despite increasing significantly in recent months due to transitory factors—is projected to moderate during 2022 and remain below the ECB’s inflation target over the medium term. Uncertainty surrounding the outlook remains high and largely related to pandemic dynamics and legacies, including induced behavioral and preference changes.
Countries have committed, through the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to pursue climate targets and policies that would limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. A shift toward green public investment will help to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In addition, substantial public investment will be necessary to build public infrastructure that makes economies more resilient to climate change and related natural disasters. Climate change mitigation and adaptation challenges thus compound preexisting needs for public investment to foster the economic recovery from the pandemic and to meet the SDGs in a broader range of areas, often in a context of limited fiscal space. Against this backdrop, a priority for all countries is to manage their public investment efficiently and effectively. To help countries improve the institutions and processes for infrastructure governance (the planning, allocation, and implementation of public investment), the IMF developed in 2015 the Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA), which has already been applied in over 70 countries. However, the current PIMA does not provide a sufficiently tailored assessment of how public investment management can support climate change mitigation and adaptation. To fill this gap, this paper introduces a new module to the to the current Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) framework, the “Climate-PIMA” (C-PIMA), whose goal is to help governments identify potential improvements in public investment institutions and processes to build low-carbon and climate-resilient infrastructure.