International economy

From this page you can access thematically grouped Analytical Articles published in the Economic Bulletin from 1999, ordered by date of dissemination within each year.

All documents are available in PDF format PDF File. Opens in a new window

  • 05/12/2017
    Migratory pressures in the long run: international migration projections to 2050 (731 KB) Rodolfo Campos

    This article presents bilateral international migration projections to 2050 based on a new methodology that takes into account the population growth both in countries of origin and countries of destination. To do this, the methodology used by Hanson and McIntosh (2016) to project the future migratory flows to a sample of OECD countries is generalised to all countries worldwide. The United Nations population growth forecasts are used as a basis for projecting future migratory flows. The main findings of the exercise indicate that the number of migrants is projected to increase from 2.8% of the world population in 2010 to around 3.5% in 2050, as a result of the strong increase in migrants from India and sub-Saharan Africa. Against this background, and despite the slowdown in demographic growth in Latin America, the United States is expected to continue to receive high net immigration flows and to remain the country with the highest stock of immigrants globally, while continental Europe will post larger net immigration flows.

  • 20/10/2017
    Report on the Latin American economy. Second half of 2017. (1 MB)

    Latin America is now participating in the cyclical improvement in global activity. The weighted average growth rate of GDP in the region’s six main economies stood fairly close to estimated potential growth. Moreover, the results across the countries show a degree of convergence. Broadly, there has been a significant reduction in inflation rates which has enabled central banks – with the odd exception, such as Argentina and Mexico – to cut policy rates. To offer a deeper assessment of the monetary policy stance in the main economies with an inflation target, the Report includes a thematic section in which a Taylor rule is constructed on the basis of estimated natural interest rates. Furthermore, the Latin American economies have continued to adjust their external balances to a new scenario of low commodities prices, but fiscal adjustment has not progressed to the same extent. Nonetheless, the region’s financial markets have performed very favourably and currencies have tended to appreciate.
    The higher-frequency indicators show that the dynamism of activity has run into the second half of the year. Nonetheless, the continuity of the recovery in the region is subject to certain downside risks. Chief among these in the external environment is the possible tightening of financial conditions on international markets. Risks persist too in the case of possible changes in tack in US policies, principally towards greater trade protectionism in the context of the negotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, to which Mexico is a signatory. In this respect, the second thematic section of this report analyses the factors behind the recent strength of private consumption in Mexico, against a relatively unfavourable background. On the internal front in the region, where there is a very busy electoral calendar until late 2018, the risks appear to be more balanced. In the medium term, the countries in the region remain subject to modest growth prospects.

  • 05/10/2017
    China’s economic imbalances and the role of the financial sector (547 KB) Jacopo Timini

    China’s economic success in recent decades has been associated with a distinctive, highly investment dependent, pattern of growth, which has led to a high level of non-financial private sector debt. The Chinese authorities, recognising that this model has reached its limits, have made “rebalancing” the pattern of growth one of their key economic policy objectives. One feature of this rebalancing is that of promoting an orderly deleveraging process to avoid a sharp adjustment of the economy. In this context, this article discusses the challenges being faced by the Chinese authorities as they seek to reduce non-financial sector debt levels and mitigate the risks associated with the excessive growth of the financial system, and of the shadow banking sector in particular.


  • 05/09/2017
    The EU’s new-generation trade agreements: the CETA treaty (399 KB) M.ª Jesús González, Esther Gordo and Marta Manrique

    Against an international background of low tariff barriers, the EU’s trade policy has shifted towards attaining bilateral trade agreements that promote the reduction both of non-tariff barriers and of those regulatory barriers that restrict the movement of goods, services, individuals and investment flows, in addition to including provisions relating to the environment, labour markets and intellectual property rights. An example of these “new-generation” agreements is the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) recently negotiated by the EU and Canada, which is in the process of being ratified by the national parliaments.The article describes the general characteristics of new-generation trade agreements, the difficulties posed by their regulatory and wide-ranging nature, and how the CETA has attempted to respond to some of the issues that have proven most controversial for public opinion. The significance of this agreement pertains not only to the economic impact it will have on the European and Canadian economies, but also to how it could act as a model for other agreements with developed countries, including that which the EU and the United Kingdom have to negotiate.

  • 01/08/2017
    The oil market: recent developments and outlook (572 KB) Daniel Santabárbara

    The past three years have seen a radical change in the structure of the oil market, as a result of the deep-seated transformation the US oil industry has undergone and of OPEC’s strategic
    reaction. This has translated into a substantial reduction in the price of oil. Specifically, this article analyses three key factors behind oil market developments in the past two years: the resilience of US shale oil production, the new turn in OPEC’S strategy to cut output and the slowdown in demand. Further, the medium and long-term outlook for this market is discussed, with the conclusion drawn that a marked rise in prices owing to the foreseeable course of supply and demand is not expected. While some fall-off in supply is contemplated owing to the decline in investment, demand, too, will be contained by greater efficiency in the use of oil-derived fuels and social awareness about their negative externalities.

  • 21/07/2017
    Inflation expectation indicators based on financial instrument prices (1 MB) Alberto Fuertes and Ricardo Gimeno

    This article shows how indicators of agents’ inflation expectations can be derived from the prices of various financial instruments and presents the estimates obtained for the euro area and the United States. The results show that these metrics have reacted to economic and monetary decisions made in recent years, and that, on average, expected inflation is lower and less volatile in the euro area than in the United States.
    Moreover, since end-2016 there has been a marked rise in the probability of observing longterm inflation rates above 2% in the United States, coinciding with the likely change in the country’s economic policy stance. Changes in the indicators for the euro area have been less pronounced over this period, although a marked drop in the probability of low or negative inflation rates has been observed.

  • 11/07/2017
    Spain in the global value chains (569 KB) Elvira Prades and Paloma Villanueva

    In the past 15 years there has been an expansion in world trade accompanied by a growing international fragmentation of production, which has given rise to the so-called “global value chains” (GVCs). This new way of organising production at the international level means that countries specialise increasingly in small contributions to the final product and that companies are increasingly global.
    The Spanish economy has also played a part in these developments, although its participation in GVCs is still below the international average. However, from the onset of the crisis up to 2014, the import content of Spanish exports increased, partly as a result of a reallocation of resources towards firms with a greater import content that have gained weight in total exports.
    Moreover, Spain is characterised by the fact that it is one of the countries where exports are closer to the final consumer in the country of destination, a phenomenon that has increased in recent years.

  • 25/05/2017
    Federal unemployment insurance in the United States (592 KB) Silvia Albrizio, Juan Carlos Berganza and Iván Kataryniuk

    Unemployment insurance in the United States is one of the fiscal risk-sharing mechanisms designed to mitigate the negative consequences of economic shocks. The system is based on complementary federal and state benefits, which behave very differently during normal and crisis periods. Thus, unemployment insurance is principally a state competence during normal periods, while the federal government assumes an active role in crisis periods, smoothing the negative impact of economic crises on household consumption and mitigating the heterogeneous effects across states.
    This is an element that distinguishes the United States from the European Monetary Union, which lacks automatic fiscal stabilising tools for the area as a whole; consequently the costs arising from shocks have to be assumed by each country individually, which makes it difficult for the area to function homogeneously.

  • 20/04/2017
    Report on the Latin American economy. First half of 2017 (1 MB)

    The Latin American economies face a highly complex outlook as a result of various factors, such as the fragility of the recovery in the advanced economies in the wake of the crisis, the tensions in re-balancing the Chinese economy and doubts over the extent of the pickup in commodities prices. And adding to these has been the change of US Administration, with potential global implications owing to the expected change in the US economic policy stance.
    Nonetheless, National Accounts data have shown a muted improvement in the region as a whole in the second half of 2016, assisted by the firmness of financial markets, the easing in monetary policies – against a backdrop of falling inflation – and the turnaround in commodities prices. The higher-frequency indicators point to a continuation of this improvement in the opening months of 2017. For 2017 as a whole, a moderate pick-up in growth across the region is expected, but one that is notably uneven from country to country, and with the balance of risks to growth remaining tilted to the downside.

  • 16/03/2017
    Situation of and outlook for the world economy at the start of 2017 (1 MB)

    Global growth in 2016 disappointed analysts once again. Moreover, three far-reaching events
    occurred which, nevertheless, did not have an immediate major impact. At the start of the year, the Chinese financial markets experienced turbulence relating to the challenges the Chinese authorities face in implementing their structural reform programme. In June, the United Kingdom voted in favour of leaving the European Union, which means the loss of an influential partner in the process of European construction.
    Lastly, in November, the Republican candidate Donald Trump won the US presidential elections. This might entail a change in macroeconomic policies and check the process of globalisation. These events reveal a global economic setting shrouded in great uncertainty for the future.

  • 23/02/2017
    Global funding trends in capital markets in 2016 (943 KB) Alberto Fuertes, José Manuel Marqués and Luis Molina

    Bond issuance increased moderately in the developed markets in 2016, partly due to the ongoing fiscal consolidation in the main economies. Placements by companies with better credit quality and by the banking sector were notably buoyant. Across countries, however, there were significant differences, both in terms of the conditions of supply of bonds by issuers (the cyclical position of each economy, the need for deleveraging by businesses and the public sector, and the regulatory requirements in the financial sector) and in terms of the factors affecting the demand of investors (risk appetite, the search for yield in a context of negative interest rates and the role of central banks in bond purchases). With regard to the emerging economies, they continued to have access to the markets.
    However, the volatility observed in foreign exchange markets led to a certain preference for foreign-currency issuance, especially in US dollars.

  • 09/02/2017
    Towards efficient capital flow management (530 KB) Ángel Estrada, Luis Molina, Paula Sánchez and Francesca Viani

    Financial globalisation has advanced notably in recent decades. In principle, greater integration should raise the degree of economic efficiency. However, the empirical evidence suggests that, for this to occur, countries should have well-designed economic institutions and sufficiently developed local financial markets. Moreover, these flows may jeopardise financial stability in certain circumstances, whereby the economic authorities need to draw on criteria and instruments to withstand such situations. These tools should be used as part of a broader programme of measures that includes the macro and microeconomic adjustments required. Furthermore, international cooperation emerges as a necessary complement to globalisation.

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