Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR)

What Is the Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR)?

The Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) is a semiannual report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that assesses the stability of global financial markets and emerging-market financing. It is released twice per year, in April and October.

Key Takeaways

  • The Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) is a semiannual report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that assesses the stability of global financial markets and emerging-market financing.
  • GFSR focuses on current conditions, especially financial and structural imbalances, that could risk an upset in global financial stability and access to financing by emerging-market countries.
  • GFSR replaced two previous reports by the IMF, the annual International Capital Markets Report and the quarterly Emerging Market Financing Report.

Understanding the Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR)

The GFSR focuses on current conditions, especially financial and structural imbalances, that could risk an upset in global financial stability and access to financing by emerging-market countries. It emphasizes the ramifications of financial and economic imbalances that are highlighted in one of the IMF's other publications, the World Economic Outlook. Topics covered in the GFSR usually include systemic risk assessments in worldwide financial markets, worldwide debt management, emerging economic markets, and current economic crises that could affect finances worldwide.

The Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) replaced two previous reports by the IMF, the annual International Capital Markets Report and the quarterly Emerging Market Financing Report. The purpose of replacing them was to provide a more frequent assessment of the worldwide financial markets and to focus on emerging market financing in a global context. In addition to assessing the condition of worldwide markets, the GSFR also issues recommendations for central banks, policymakers, and others who supervise global financial markets.

The most recent GSFR, released in April 2021, warns that "there is a pressing need to act to avoid a legacy of vulnerabilities while avoiding a broad tightening of financial conditions." It goes on to state that the "actions taken during the pandemic may have unintended consequences such as stretched valuations and rising financial vulnerabilities" and that the "recovery is also expected to be asynchronous and divergent between advanced and emerging market economies."

GFSR Example—April 2019

The April 2019 GFSR consisted of a front matter and two chapters. The first chapter discussed the growth of short-term and medium-term risks to global financial stability since the October 2018 GFSR. The vulnerabilities listed in the GSFR ranged from the financial sector nexus in the euro area to problems in the Chinese economy to the risks prevalent in the housing market.

The interconnected nature of the global economy meant that these vulnerabilities could present significant risks in the future. For example, China's economy remained a tightrope between supporting near-term growth and preventing excessive leverage within the economy through regulatory tightening. Given China's manufacturing prowess and the inclusion of its currency in IMF's global benchmark indices, these problems could reverberate throughout the world economy.

The second chapter of the GSFR report dealt with the risks prevalent in the housing market. According to the GSFR, the downside risks in the housing market at that time included the growth of excessive credit and tighter financial conditions in the years ahead.

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  1. International Monetary Fund. "Global Financial Stability Report." Accessed March 1, 2021.

  2. International Monetary Fund. "Emerging Market Financing." Accessed March 1, 2021.

  3. International Monetary Fund. "Global Financial Stability Report." Accessed June 21, 2021.

  4. International Monetary Fund. "Vulnerabilities in a Maturing Credit Cycle." Accessed March 1, 2021.