IMF Tracking Policy Responses to COVID-19
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The COVID-19 Policy Tracker summarizes the economic responses that governments are taking to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tracker includes information regarding number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and containment measures for each of 193 economies; it also summarizes each economy's fiscal, monetary and macro-financial, and exchange rate and balance of payments policy responses.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has developed a “COVID-19 Policy Tracker,” which summarizes the economic responses that governments are taking to address the human and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Policy Tracker includes information on 193 economies, as of 3 April 2020. For each of these 193 entities, data regarding number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and containment measures are updated regularly, as are summaries of each economy’s fiscal, monetary and macro-financial, and exchange rate and balance of payments policy responses. 

The Tracker focuses on discretionary actions; it does not incorporate information such as automatic insurance mechanisms or social safety nets that were in place prior to the outbreak of the pandemic. The IMF notes that the information in the Tracker is not meant for comparisons across economies, because responses vary depending on the nature of the shock and country-specific circumstances.

In a separate article, the IMF recommends that economic policy at this time should have three objectives: guarantee the functioning of essential sectors; provide enough resources for people hit by the crisis; and prevent excessive economic disruption. The article notes that, while public sector intervention is justified by the emergency “for as long as exceptional circumstances persist,” it must be provided in a transparent manner and should have clear sunset clauses.

On fiscal policy recommendations, and IMF article suggests that governments should: spend money to prevent, detect, control, treat, and contain the virus, and to provide basic services to people that have to be quarantined and to the businesses affected; provide timely, targeted, and temporary cash flow relief to the people and firms that are most affected; and create a business continuity plan.


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