Global economic activity is picking up with a long-awaited cyclical recovery in investment, manufacturing, and trade, according to Chapter 1 of this World Economic Outlook. World growth is expected to rise from 3.1 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018. Stronger activity, expectations of more robust global demand, reduced deflationary pressures, and optimistic financial markets are all upside developments. But structural impediments to a stronger recovery and a balance of risks that remains tilted to the downside, especially over the medium term, remain important challenges. Chapter 2 examines how changes in external conditions may affect the pace of income convergence between advanced and emerging market and developing economies. Chapter 3 looks at the trend in the declining share of income that goes to labor and the root causes. Overall, this report stresses the need for credible strategies in advanced economies and emerging market and developing ones to tackle a number of common challenges in an integrated global economy.
Full Text BlogDataWith buoyant financial markets and a long-awaited cyclical recovery in manufacturing and trade, world growth is projected to rise from 3.1 percent in 2016 to 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018. But binding structural impediments continue to hold back a stronger recovery, and the balance of risks remains tilted to the downside, especially over the medium term. With persistent structural problems—such as low productivity growth and high income inequality—pressures for inward-looking policies are increasing in advanced economies. These threaten global economic integration and the cooperative global economic order that has served the world economy, especially emerging market and developing economies, well. Against this backdrop, economic policies have an important role to play in staving off downside risks and securing the recovery, and a renewed multilateral effort is also needed to tackle common challenges in an integrated global economy.
Full Text BlogDataEmerging market and developing economies have become increasingly important in the global economy in recent years. They now account for more than 75 percent of global growth in output and consumption, almost double the share of just two decades ago. The external environment has been important for this transformation. Terms of trade, external demand, and, in particular, external financial conditions are increasingly influential determinants of medium-term growth in these economies as they become more integrated into the global economy. The still-considerable income gaps in these economies vis-à-vis those in advanced economies suggest further room for catch-up, favoring their prospects of maintaining relatively strong potential growth over the medium term. Yet, the findings show that steady, sustained catch-up growth is not automatic and exhibits episodes of accelerations and reversals over time. Moreover, with the global economy in the midst of potentially persistent structural shifts, emerging market and developing economies may face a less supportive external environment going forward than they experienced for long stretches of the post-2000 period. Nevertheless, these economies can still get the most out of a weaker growth impulse from external conditions by strengthening their institutional frameworks, protecting trade integration, permitting exchange rate flexibility, and containing vulnerabilities arising from high current account deficits and external borrowing, as well as large public debt.
Full Text BlogDataThis chapter documents the downward trend in the labor share of income since the early 1990s, as well as its heterogeneous evolution across countries, industries, and workers of different skill groups, using newly assembled data for a large sample of advanced and emerging market and developing economies. The chapter then analyzes the forces behind these trends. Technological progress, reflected in the steep decline in the relative price of investment goods, along with varying exposure to routine-based occupations, explains about half the overall decline in advanced economies, with a larger negative impact on the earnings of middle-skilled workers. In emerging markets, the labor share evolution is explained predominantly by the forces of global integration, particularly the expansion of global value chains that contributed to raising the overall capital intensity in production.