COVID-19

Overview

The IMF is fully committed to supporting our member countries, particularly the most vulnerable; we have the tools to help; and we are coordinating closely with our partner institutions.

Highlights

News & Publications

Post-pandemic Productivity Dynamics in the United States
June 21, 2024

We study U.S. labor productivity growth and its drivers since the COVID-19 pandemic. Labor productivity experienced large swings since 2020, due to both compositional and within-industry effects, but has since returned to its pre-pandemic trend. Industry-level panel regressions show that measures of labor market churn are associated with higher productivity growth both in the cross-section and over time. Sectors with higher investment in digitalization, particularly in teleworkable industries, also experience higher productivity growth on average. There has also been an increase in business formation since the pandemic, but its impact on productivity dynamics will likely need more time to be reflected in the data.

Drivers of Post-COVID Private Consumption in the U.S.
June 21, 2024

Private consumption in the U.S. has recovered swiftly from the pandemic trough and has been running above the pre-pandemic trend even as interest rates rose sharply. This paper examines the underlying drivers for this strong growth in consumption. Using both state- and household-level data, we find that excess savings from the pandemic, large increases in household wealth (especially housing), along with solid real income gains contributed to strengthening post-pandemic consumption. Compared with pre-COVID estimates, the marginal propensity to consume out of housing wealth is substantially higher, which, together with large gains in housing prices, made the wealth effect a key driver for post-pandemic consumption growth.

E-Commerce During COVID in Spain: One “Click” Does Not Fit All
May 24, 2024

The share of e-commerce in total credit-card spending boomed during Covid in Spain. In particular, women, youth, and urban consumers used e-commerce proportionally more during the pandemic, especially for services. Using a unique proprietary dataset on credit card transactions, we test conjectures about consumers’ behavior (based on fear, hoarding, or learning) during Covid. Overall, e-commerce share reverted to its pre-Covid trend as the pandemic waned. However, some consumers with lower pre-Covid e-commerce usage tend to permanently use more e-commerce, supporting the conjecture of “learning by locking” for these individuals.

Blogs

Housing Affordability Remains Stretched Amid Higher Interest Rate Environment
January 11, 2024

Prospective home buyers face high prices and elevated borrowing costs, while homeowners refrain from listing their properties

How Channeling SDRs is Supporting Vulnerable Economies
October 13, 2023

Special drawing rights are providing an important boost for countries that need one, but greater support is encouraged to strengthen our unique lending tools

Fragile States Need Customized Support to Strengthen Institutions
September 21, 2023

In the most vulnerable countries, strengthening state capacity must adapt to more frequent economic shocks, greater political instability, and fewer resources

Global Debt Is Returning to its Rising Trend
September 13, 2023

Although global debt recorded another significant decline in 2022, it is still high, with debt sustainability remaining a concern

Historic $650 Billion Liquidity Boost Continues to Benefit the Global Economy
August 29, 2023

The August 2021 allocation of special drawing rights supported countries amid recovery from the pandemic—and continues to offer benefits

How Financing Can Boost Low-Income Countries’ Resilience to Shocks
June 14, 2023

The economic gains from $272 billion in pandemic support for 94 countries were strongest in the poorest and more vulnerable recipients of IMF concessional financing

Multimedia

Podcast: Navigating a More Fragile World

With shock upon shock hitting the world economy in the last three years, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva's customary opening speech to the Annual Meetings warned of a darker global outlook and emphasized the need for the world to come together to deal with the consequences.