International Payments Imbalances

Publication | April 2006

Over the last few years, the term 'global payments imbalances' has been used to refer to the growing current account surpluses/ deficits between different regions of the world, together with a substantial accumulation of international reserves by several Asian countries. These trends have raised a number of concerns.

Contents 

  • What are They?
  • Imbalances: A View from the Real Economy
  • Imbalances, the Debate
    • Imbalances present a clear threat to global stability
    • Imbalances are problematic, but are likely to unwind more gradually
    • Imbalances are sustainable
    • Imbalances are smaller than they appear
  • Underlying Development Challenges for Asia
  • References