IMF: Governments Need Agile Fiscal Policies as Food and Fuel Prices Spike

Spending imperatives from pandemic and war meet high debt and tight budget constraints.

Just as increasing vaccinations offered hope, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted the global economic recovery. One of the most visible global effects has been the acceleration of energy and food prices, triggering concerns about episodes of food shortages and increasing the risks of malnutrition and social unrest. World food prices surged by 33.6 percent in March from a year earlier, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Our latest Fiscal Monitor discusses how governments, faced with record debt and rising borrowing costs, can best respond to the urgent needs. It stresses the call for greater global cooperation.

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