Trade and Development Report 2010

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The Report 2010 focuses on the need to make employment creation a priority in economic policy. Unemployment is the most pressing social and economic problem of our time, not least because, especially in developing countries, it is closely related to poverty. The fallout from the global crisis has exacerbated what were already sluggish labour markets in most countries even before the crisis erupted. It also warns that a premature withdrawal of macroeconomic stimulus measures to expand demand in developed countries may trigger a deflationary spiral in the global economy, with attendant slumps in growth and employment. The publication draws attention to the importance of strengthening the macroeconomic policy framework to promote sustainable growth and employment creation in both developed and developing countries, and makes recommendations for a reorientation of macroeconomic policies and institution building aimed at strengthening domestic demand.

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Potential employment effects of a global rebalancing

There is widespread agreement that the persistently large imbalances in the world economy – with sizeable current-account deficits in some countries, particularly the United States, and sizeable current-account surpluses in others, notably China, Germany, Japan and a number of oil-exporting countries – contributed to the outbreak of the current economic and financial crisis and facilitated its global spread (see also TDR 2009, chap. I). There is also agreement that a smooth and non-deflationary reduction of these imbalances is indispensable for ensuring that the recent global economic upturn continues. This chapter focuses on the effects of global rebalancing on the patterns of global demand and trade flows.

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