IMF calls for large, targetted fical and monetary policies

Bloomberg March 10 | Updated on March 10, 2020

The International Monetary Fund’s Chief Economist urged policy makers around the world to implement targetted fiscal, monetary and financial market measures to help households and businesses impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

“Central banks should be prepared to provide liquidity to banks and financial companies, especially those who lend to more vulnerable small- and medium-sized businesses,” said Gita Gopinath in a blog post on Monday.

“Broader monetary stimulus such as interest-rate cuts or asset purchases can boost confidence and support financial markets if theres a risk of a significant tightening in financial conditions,” she said.

Governments and central banks last week stepped up emergency actions, with the Bank of Canada joining the Federal Reserve in cutting interest rates by a half point. More than $54 billion in budget support has already been pledged or is under consideration in the US, Europe and Asia.

“Broad-based fiscal stimulus can help boost aggregate demand but would be more effective once business operations begin to normalise,” said Gopinath. Families and businesses could benefit from cash transfers, wage subsidies and tax relief to help them meet their needs, she added.

There is a need for urgent action, and not just targetted policies, but substantial targetted policies, Gopinath said in a Bloomberg Television later on Monday.

Published on March 10, 2020

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