External Sector Reports

2021

August 2, 2021

2021 External Sector Report: Divergent Recoveries and Global Imbalances

Description: Overall current account deficits and surpluses widened in 2020 to 3.2 percent of world GDP. The IMF’s multilateral approach suggests that global excessive imbalances were broadly unchanged in 2020 at about 1.2 percent of world GDP. The external outlook for2021 is highly uncertain given the divergent economic prospects across countries.

2020

August 4, 2020

2020 External Sector Report: Global Imbalances and the COVID-19 Crisis

Description: The IMF's 2020 External Sector Report finds that overall current account deficits and surpluses narrowed modestly in 2019 to just under 3 percent of world GDP. The IMF’s multilateral approach suggests that about 40 percent of overall current account deficits and surpluses were excessive in 2019. The external outlook for 2020 is subject to high uncertainty and cross-country variation.

2019

July 3, 2019

2019 External Sector Report: The Dynamics of External Adjustment

Description: After narrowing sharply in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, overall current account surpluses and deficits reached 3 percent of world GDP in 2018, declining marginally while rotating toward advanced economies in recent years. The IMF’s multilateral approach suggests that about 35–45 percent of overall current account surpluses and deficits were deemed excessive in 2018.

2018

July 19, 2018

2018 External Sector Report: Tackling Global Imbalances amid Rising Trade Tensions 

Description: The IMF’s 2018 ESR shows that global current account balances stand at about 3¼ percent of global GDP. Of this, 40-50 percent are now deemed excessive, i.e. some countries are saving too much, and others are borrowing too much. And while global imbalances remain broadly unchanged in recent years, they have become increasingly concentrated in advanced economies.