• Construction site of the Nam Theun 1 hydropower project in Laos. New research has shed light on the various environmental and social risks posed by Chinese-funded overseas development projects

    Rhetoric, meet reality: how to green the Belt and Road Initiative

    After much talk, concrete frameworks and guidelines are finally arriving, and the stage is set for China to improve its green credentials on the Belt and Road.

  • Brazil: GDP Growth Slows amid Surging Imports and Flat Manufacturing

    Brazil’s GDP grew at a 2.5 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, down from 5.4 percent in the first quarter, and somewhat lower than its year-over-year growth of 3.2 percent.  GDP is now 7.8 percent above its pre-recession peak. By Sector Brazil continued its trend toward services and away from industry.  While services contributed […]

  • Brazil: Key Economic Trends during and since the Recession

    Brazil’s first quarter GDP shows continued expansion, driven by manufacturing and private consumption.  The economy grew at an annualized rate of 5.4 percent in the first quarter, and over the last four quarters it has grown 4.2 percent.  The two sectors that have had the strongest recovery since the recession, minerals extraction and finance, both […]

  • Venezuela: GDP Shows Strong Gains in Q1 2011

    Venezuela’s central bank (BCV) has released GDP data for the first quarter of 2011.  The report points to an accelerating recovery: GDP grew 4.5% over its first-quarter 2010 level.  However, if we want to look specifically at the first quarter of 2011, we need seasonally adjusted data so we can compare it to the quarter […]

  • The Scorecard on Development, 1960-2010: Closing the Gap?

    Executive Summary: This paper is the third installment in a series (the first and second editions were in 2001 and 2005) that traces a long-term growth failure in most of the world’s countries.  For the vast majority of the world’s low- and middle-income countries, there was a sharp slowdown in economic growth for the two […]

  • Update on the Venezuelan Economy

    Executive Summary: After nearly six years of record economic growth, the Venezuelan economy went into recession in the first quarter of 2009, shrinking by 3.3 percent that year.  A number of analysts see this as the end of an “oil boom” and the beginning of a long period of recession and stagnation. For example, in […]

  • Latvia’s Recession: The Cost of Adjustment with an “Internal Devaluation”

    Executive Summary: The Latvian recession, which is now more than two years old, has seen a world-historical drop in GDP of more than 25 percent.  The IMF projects another 4 percent drop this year, and predicts that the total loss of output from peak to bottom will reach 30 percent.  This would make Latvia’s loss […]

  • Oil Prices and Venezuela’s Economy

    Introduction The Venezuelan economy has grown more than 94 percent since the current expansion began in the second quarter of 2003.1  The overwhelming bulk of this growth has been in the non-oil sector.2  Throughout most of these five and a half years of unprecedented growth, the economy has often been characterized as an “oil boom […]