Example Economics Essay The impact of Russia’s accession to WTO on its industries

Example Economics Essay The impact of Russia’s accession to WTO on its industries
The main and most obvious difference between monetary and fiscal policy is that monetary policy is set by the central bank and fiscal policy is implemented by the government. In the case of the UK, monetary policy is decided upon by the Bank of England which since 1997 has been independent from the government. It would be worth considering the two types of economic policy in more detail now before turning to look at how they can be used to help meet macroeconomic government objectives.
Monetary policy is the attempt to control macroeconomic variables through the setting of interest rates. It is a rather blunt policy tool as its effects can be felt throughout the economy as a whole. By changing interest rates, the Bank of England is trying to influence the overall expenditure in the economy as well as controlling inflation. Reducing interest rates makes borrowing the more attractive alternative to saving which then leads to more spending in the economy. Lowering interest rates can also make assets such as property increase in value which also leads to more spending as homeowners extend mortgages and consume more. By cutting interest rates, it is hoped that this increased spending feeds through to output and then to employment. Increasing interest rates on the other hand, has the opposite effect by making saving more attractive than spending and therefore overall spending in the economy is reduced.

Fiscal policy is controlled by central government. It can be defined as, “a government’s program with respect to (1) the purchase of goods and services and spending on transfer payments, and (2) the amount and type of tax” (Samuelson and Nordhaus, 1998). It involved the government changing levels of taxation and spending in order to influence the level of aggregate demand (AD). The purpose of fiscal policy is to reduce inflation, stimulate economic growth and to stabilise this growth and avoid periods of ‘boom and bust’ which characterised the economy during the 1980s and early 1990s. If monetary policy is described as a blunt instrument then fiscal policy is a precision tool that can target particular sectors of the economy and population in order to achieve the desired economic changes.

Both these different types of policy are working towards achieving different macroeconomic objectives. It would be worth looking at these in greater detail now. There are four major macroeconomic objectives that any economic policy should be working to achieve. These are full employment; price stability; sustainable economic growth and; keeping the Balance of Payments in equilibrium. These four different objectives compete with each other and all achieve different levels of importance depending on the priorities of the government.

During the 1960s, the Balance of Payments took centre stage. This was before the global economy made operating with a deficit a viable and sustainable option. Nowadays most governments operate with a budget deficit and the balance of Payments is no longer seen as a top priority for the government. In 2007/2008 the UK government showed a deficit of £38.7 billion which is around 2.7% of gross domestic product (GDP). The general government debt is around £614.4 billion which is around 43.2% of GDP (ONS, 2008). In the 1960s such levels of debt would be unthinkable but now they are just part of a global reality. In order to implement social programs and fulfil spending promises, the government is forced to borrow from global institutions. This has become a global reality. These current times of economic uncertainty only increases the amount of borrowing by governments all over the world.

Full employment enjoyed similar prominence in the period after the war until the 1980s. Full employment meant that more people were contributing to the economy both in terms of output and through taxation. It also meant that the government had to spend less on social programs. This full employment was aided by a largely industrial economy which started to decline in the 1980s. Thatcher wanted to restructure the economy to make it more efficient and move it away from its industrial base. Full employment is still an important objective and it is one that is gaining prevalence again but during this current recession it isn’t a realistic prospect. The current rate of employment stands at 74.1% (ONS, 2009) which is a slight decrease on the previous year. However, as the recession deepens, it is expected that this number will fall even further.

Perhaps the most two important objectives for the government at present are sustained economic growth and price stability by keeping inflation low. The government is trying to foster sustainable growth in the economy which means growth without inflation. However, the past year has seen the UK economy slip in to a recession, making any sort of growth impossible. During this recession the level of inflation has fallen but this has not translated into economic growth. It was hoped that that low inflation would mean that spending would increase. However, the current economic climate has seen prices fall so much that consumers are now waiting to see if prices fall even further before spending (Monaghan, 2009).

This essay will now turn to look at how the use of monetary and fiscal policy can be used to achieve these macroeconomic objectives.

Example Economics Essay The impact of Russia’s accession to WTO on its industries 9.4 of 10 on the basis of 3251 Review.