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Potential output and private investment in a late-crisis world

Global economics

Falls in potential output growth and private fixed investment were among the unsurprising consequences of the global economic crisis. Despite signs of a return to growth, the economic recovery remains fragile in a number of advanced and emerging market economies. Weak private investment is both a driver and a result of low medium-term growth prospects. The analytical chapters of the IMF’s April 2015 World Economic Outlook focus on these two topics.

What emerges is a tale of diverging narratives for advanced and emerging economies. The fall in potential output growth in advanced countries started well before the crisis, and has worsened further since then. Private investment in advanced economies also contracted sharply. Meanwhile, in emerging market economies the decline in potential output growth only began after the crisis, and private investment has slowed more gradually.

  • What are the underlying causes of these developments?
  • Why are the stories of advanced and emerging economies so different?
  • What are the prospects for a possible revival of private investment and potential output growth?
  • What policy measures could be taken to encourage this?

A presentation by Roberto Garcia-Saltos and Daniel Leigh, key contributors to the IMF report, was followed by comments from Zsolt Darvas and an open debate chaired by Guntram Wolff.


  • Roberto Garcia-Saltos, deputy division chief, Economic Modeling Division of IMF Research Department
  • Daniel Leigh, deputy division chief, IMF Research Department
  • Zsolt Darvas, senior fellow, Bruegel
  • Chair: Guntram Wolff, director, Bruegel

Event Materials

  • A summary of the discussion -
  • The IMF's April 2015 World Economic Outlook.
  • The presentation given by Roberto Garcia-Saltos -
  • The presentation given by Daniel Leigh -
  • The response presentation given by Zsolt Darvas -

Practical Details

  • Venue: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
  • Time: Wednesday 29 April 2015, 13:00-14:30 (lunch at 12.30)
  • Contact: Matilda Sevón, Events Manager - [email protected]