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After the Crisis; Lower Consumption Growth But Narrower Global Imbalances?

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  • Franziska L Ohnsorge
  • Ashoka Mody

Abstract

We estimate consumption dynamics in the G-7 economies, paying particular attention to the possibility of precautionary behavior in the face of uncertainty. We find that in the short run, continued income uncertainty will significantly dampen consumption growth. As such, consumption in the G-7 economies is unlikely to be the engine that revives global growth. Differences in the pace and timing of consumption moderation have implications for the evolution of global imbalances. With the U.S. experiencing a sharper rise in unemployment and, perhaps, more widespread loss of financial wealth than elsewhere in the G-7, the relative rise of the U.S. savings rate is helping narrow global imbalances. But with a likely earlier recovery in the U.S., this narrowing could be short-lived. Moreover, long-term differences- in economic and financial volatility and in demographic structures-have been an important source of the imbalances and could soon reassert their prominence.

Suggested Citation

  • Franziska L Ohnsorge & Ashoka Mody, 2010. "After the Crisis; Lower Consumption Growth But Narrower Global Imbalances?," IMF Working Papers 10/11, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:10/11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Slacalek Jiri, 2009. "What Drives Personal Consumption? The Role of Housing and Financial Wealth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-37, October.
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    5. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Reuven Glick & Kevin J. Lansing, 2009. "U.S. household deleveraging and future consumption growth," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may15.
    8. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2005. "Understanding Changes In International Business Cycle Dynamics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 968-1006, September.
    9. Martin Feldstein, 2008. "Resolving the Global Imbalance: The Dollar and the U.S. Saving Rate," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 113-125, Summer.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ansgar Belke & Christian Dreger, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area: Catching up or Competitiveness?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1106, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. P. Butzen & W. Melyn & W. Vandevyvere, 2010. "Rebalancing global demand," Economic Review, National Bank of Belgium, issue ii, pages 21-38, September.
    3. Ansgar Belke & Christian Dreger, 2013. "Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area: Does Catching up Explain the Development?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 6-17, February.
    4. Ansgar Belke & Christian Dreger, 2011. "Current Account Imbalances in the Euro Area: Catching up or Competitiveness?," Ruhr Economic Papers 0241, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    5. repec:zbw:rwirep:0241 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Berger, Helge & Nitsch, Volker, 2014. "Wearing corset, losing shape: The euro's effect on trade imbalances," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 136-155.

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