Forecasting Real Activity using Cross-Sectoral Stock Market Information

Stock prices declined abruptly in the wake of the Covid-19, reflecting both the deterioration of investors’ expectations of economic activity as well as the surge in risk aversion. In the following months however, economic activity remained sluggish while equity markets bounced back. This disconnect between equity values and macro-variables can be partially explained by other factors, namely the decline in risk-free interest rates, and -for the US- the strong profitability of the IT sector.

Foreign direct investment under uncertainty: evidence from a large panel of countries

Menzie Chinn and colleagues examine the effect of uncertainty on foreign direct investment inflows for advanced, emerging market and developing countries over a 25 year long (pre-Covid) sample. Using a push-pull framework, and controlling for both global and local factors, they find policy uncertainty has discernable and significant effects on inflows, varying in strength and direction between different groups of countries. Moreover, it is not host country uncertainty that seems to matter the most, but rather global uncertainty. Additionally, they find that high levels of uncertainty matter disproportionately. Finally, financial openness accentuates the impact of uncertainty for emerging market and developing countries.