Listen to the brightest minds in the field of economics and development discuss their latest research and deconstruct global economic trends. IMF Podcasts are also available on digital platforms such as iTunes, SoundCloud and Libsyn, and free to use for broadcasters, educators and institutions. 

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Sub-Saharan Africa Outlook: Navigating a Long Pandemic

April 15, 2021

Sub-Saharan Africa will be the world’s slowest growing region in 2021. (iStock by Getty images/WilPunt)

While there are signs of a recovery in advanced economies, sub-Saharan Africa is still in the throes of an unprecedented health and economic crisis. The second wave of COVID-19 infections was worse than the first and countries are bracing for more, while access to vaccines is scant at best. Most African countries will be struggling to vaccinate essential frontline workers this year, let alone the broader population. The latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa lays out the challenges that the region is facing and comes up with some policy recommendations to deal with critical issues like debt management and the financing of vaccine procurement. Papa N’Diaye leads the team that produces the biannual report. In this podcast, he says sub-Saharan Africa will be the world’s slowest growing region in 2021.

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Papa N’Diaye heads the Regional Studies Division in the IMF’s African Department.

Averting a COVID-19 Debt Trap

April 9, 2021

The pandemic has left countries with higher debt and fallen revenues. (iStock by Getty Images/erhui1979)

Debt levels in many countries were high when the pandemic hit. But today, global public debt is reaching 100 percent of GDP. In this podcast, we hear a panel discussion about the very real danger for some countries of falling into a debt trap. The seminar was held during the 2021 IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings and featured IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, Mohamed El-Erian, President of Queens’ College, Cambridge, and Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations. The Panel was moderated by Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times.

IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva.

Mohamed El-Erian, President of Queens’ College, Cambridge.

Vera Songwe, Under-Secretary-General at the United Nations.  

Martin Wolf, Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times.

World Economic Outlook: Divergent Recoveries

April 6, 2021

New outlook warns of possible scarring in some countries from increased debt, bankruptcies and rising poverty levels. (Istock by Getty Images/TaroKichi)

Global prospects are looking better one year into the pandemic, albeit highly uncertain. The latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) places growth at 6% for 2021, compared to 2020's unprecedented contraction of -3.3%. But recovery is by and large vaccine-dependent and the lack of access to vaccines is making recovery hard to imagine for some countries, while others are well on their way. Malhar Nabar is Division Chief in the IMF Research Department and heads the WEO. In this podcast, he says these divergent recoveries are a big concern.  Transcript

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Malhar Nabar is Division Chief in the IMF Research Department. 

Global Financial Stability and Interest Rates

April 6, 2021

Latest Global Financial Stability Report says higher interest rates could weigh on recovery in emerging markets. (Istock by Getty Images/RichLegg)

While emerging markets suffered huge portfolio outflows at the beginning of the pandemic, the latest Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) shows capital flows have returned and the outlook continues to improve, partly because of low interest rates in countries such as the United States. The new report takes a close look at the possibility of rising interest rates and what that would mean for emerging market economies trying to recover from the pandemic. Fabio Natalucci is Deputy Director of the Monetary and Capital Markets Department and heads the GFSR. In this podcast, he says a lagging recovery in emerging markets is a risk to global financial stability.  Transcript

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Fabio Natalucci is Deputy Director in the Monetary and Capital Markets Department.

Kristalina Georgieva: A Time of Promise and Danger

April 1, 2021

Kristalina Georgieva says global economy is on firmer footing, but economic fortunes are diverging. (IMF photo)

More than a year into the COVID-19 crisis, signs of a recovery for some countries are slowly beginning to emerge. But in her customary curtain-raiser speech ahead of next week's virtual IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said high uncertainty is one of the greatest dangers facing the global economy.

Go to IMF.org to follow the Spring Meetings and find all the IMF flagship reports, including the World Economic Outlook, the Global Financial Stability Report, and the Fiscal Monitor.

Kristalina Georgieva is IMF Managing Director

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