As the US economy rebounds amid elevated inflationary pressures and Europe grows at a rapid clip, an uneven global rebound looms. Although emerging-market and developing economies (EMDEs) generally retain good access to global capital markets for now, their relatively slow pace of COVID-19 vaccination will continue to hamper their economic recoveries and strain their public finances—already stretched owing to the fiscal pressures of the pandemic over the past year and a half. Higher interest rates in the rich countries, particularly the United States, could tip EMDEs into liquidity and even solvency crises. The likelihood of crises is higher if advanced-economy central banks move abruptly, surprising markets. Global policymakers should prepare now by enhancing mechanisms for providing liquidity to EMDEs and, in cases of insolvency, for restructuring their sovereign debts. Perhaps even more important, the scope for uneven recovery can be limited if rich countries make an all-out effort to deliver vaccines globally and enhance less prosperous countries’ infrastructures for getting shots into arms.
The data underlying this analysis can be downloaded here.