Conceptual ambiguities and statistical weaknesses hamper the assessment of external competitiveness. The term competitiveness, while applied extensively, is often imprecisely defined, which can result in analytical errors and mistaken policy advice. Furthermore, aggregate statistical measures of competitiveness in terms of exchange rate misalignment can be biased. To address these issues, this paper makes two contributions. First, it clarifies the external competitiveness concept, highlighting the dichotomy between productivity-driven long-run growth and short-run deviations from the underlying growth trajectory, which can be related to exchange rate misalignment. Second, it develops a disaggregated statistical approach for examining competitiveness based on unit labor costs at the three digit industry level in a group of comparable countries. The case of Slovakia is used to illustrate these concepts, but the analytical insights have general application.
The modern economy of the Republic of Djibouti is based on rents directly or indirectly originating from the international port of Djibouti and from the country’s strategic position. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper discusses that the growth recorded over the last five years is essentially driven by the increase in foreign direct investment—but especially by the activities of the Port of Djibouti. The informal economy constitutes a major proportion of the economic activities of Djibouti and provides a livelihood for much of the Djibouti population.
The paper uses survey data to analyze whether financial market expectations on government budget deficits changed in France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom during the period of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP). Our findings indicate that accuracy of financial expert deficit forecasts increased in France. Convergence between the European Commission''s and market experts’ deficit forecasts also increased in France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, particularly during the period after SGP’s reform in 2005. Yet, convergence between markets’ forecasts and those of the French, German, and Italian national fiscal authorities seems not to have increased significantly during the SGP.
Authors of Working Papers are normally staff members of the Fund or consultants, although on occasion outside authors may collaborate with a staff member in writing a paper. The views expressed in the Working Papers or their summaries are, however, those of the authors and should not necessarily be interpreted as representing the views of the Fund. Copies of individual Working Papers and information on subscriptions to the annual series of Working Papers may be obtained from IMF Publication Services, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street, Washington, D.C. 20431. Telephone: (202) 623-7430 Telefax: (202) 623-7201 This compilation of summaries of Working Papers released during July-December 1994 is being issued as a part of the Working Paper series. It is designed to provide the reader with an overview of the research work performed by the staff during the period.
Loan review is a process routinely used by banks to assess the current value of loan portfolios. Provisioning is a technique to translate loan review results into the balance sheet. It allows for ongoing valuation of loans. Both are core elements of credit risk management and important to prudential oversight. As illustrated in this paper, valuation feeds into indicators of overall bank soundness and key macroprudential indicators. Country practices and recent moves to more forward-looking models are surveyed. Macroeconomic linkages are highlighted, including tax treatment of provisions, variables of the monetary survey, and procyclical aspects of loan valuation systems.
The IMF's principal statistical publication, International Financial Statistics (IFS) Online, is the standard source of international statistics on all aspects of international and domestic finance. for most countries, IFS Online reports data on balance of payments, international investment position, international liquidity, monetary and financial statistics, exchange rates, interest rates, prices, production, government accounts, national accounts, and population. Updated monthly.
Since 1978 the Chinese economy has grown on average more than 9 percenta year. Per capita income has nearly quadrupled in the past 15 years andsome analysts predict that within 20 years the Chinese economy will belarger than that of the United States. This pamphlet analyzes the reasonsfor the extraordinary growth of the Chinese economy.
1. In the attached letter, the Haitian authorities request an extension of the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement to May 31, 2010. This arrangement was approved on November 20, 2006 and access was augmented twice, bringing total access to 138 percent of quota (SDR 114.7 million). The fifth review was completed on June 29, 2009 and, at that time, the arrangement was extended from November 19, 2009 to January 31, 2010. Given that the date of the Executive Board meeting for approval of a new program and for the completion of the sixth PRGF review is tentatively scheduled for February 22, 2010, a new extension is required. The proposed extension to May 31, 2010, will provide additional time for the completion of the sixth and final review, and for making the final disbursement under the PRGF arrangement.
This pamphlet focuses on the IMF's role in social policy advice. First, the evolution of the IMF's involvement in social issues is traced, and the lessons that can be drawn from this experience, includingpolicy implications, are outlined. This is followed by an elaboration of the social dimensions of IMF policy advice to member countries underits two major activities: surveillance of economic policies and financial support for adjustment programs. the IMF's collaboration onsocial issues with the World Bank and UN agencies is examined, and theconclusion focuses on ways to further strengthen the IMF's contributionto social development.
Although the theoretical relationships are ambiguous, evidence suggestsa strong link between the choice of the exchange rate regime and economicperformance. the paper argues that adopting a pegged exchange rate canlead to lower inflation, but also to slower growth in productivity. Itfinds that on average per capita GDP growth was slightly faster underfloating regimes than under pegged exchange regimes.
This note documents slow economic growth and significant delays in reform implementation owing to continued political instability and conflict. The annual progress report (APR) reviews progress in the power sector, but does not mention some critical challenges. It outlines some progress in public sector reforms and private sector development. The APR analyzes the impact on disadvantaged groups of several government of Nepal’s programs, but recognizes a decrease in spending for targeted programs. Progress has been made in finalizing and launching of a framework for monitoring and evaluation.
This paper reviews economic developments in Myanmar during the 1990s. The economic performance of Myanmar in the 1990s has fallen short of other countries in the region. The Asian crisis has had an unexpectedly limited impact on Myanmar. Following the floating of the Thai baht in June 1997, the free market exchange rate depreciated rapidly, leading to a surge in inflation. Other effects of the crisis have included a slowing in growth of tourist arrivals and delayed receipt of gas export revenues.
The phenomenon of substantial peacetime budget deficits over the past20 years has been traced to the burden of entitlements, a slowdown ineconomic productivity, and demographic and macroeconomic shifts in theindustrial countries. Though smaller and structurally different, deficitsin developing countries have also become worrisome. Most economists agreethat measures to reduce government spending are imperative, particularlythrough restructuring entitlement programs.
This paper reviews the Financial System Stability Assessment Update on the Philippines. The assessment reveals that the banking sector has been strengthened considerably since the Asian crisis of the late 1990s and today appears generally resilient to a broad range of macroeconomic risks. The impact of the ongoing global crisis has been milder than originally feared, and the macroeconomic outlook is improving, although risks remain elevated in the near term. Considerable progress has been made toward implementing the recommendations of the initial Financial Sector Assessment Program, particularly in banking supervision.
An introductory guide to the IMF, its history, and its role in the international financial system. Explains for a general audience the IMF's lending policies, how decisions are made, and where the money comes from. Gives details of the structure of the IMF, its increasing transparency, how it provides technical assistance to member countries, its role in crisis prevention, and how it is helping the world's poorest countries. Revised in August 2006.
The IMF's 2012 Annual Report chronicles the response of the Fund's Executive Board and staff to the global financial crisis and other events during financial year 2012, which covers the period from May 1, 2011, through April 30, 2012. The print version of the Report is available in eight languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish), along with a CD-ROM (available in English only) that includes the Report text and ancillary materials, including the Fund's Financial Statements for FY2012.
This Joint Staff Advisory Note focuses on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for Albania. The note analyzes the National Strategy for Development and Integration (NSDI) program, which represents a significant improvement in process over the previous PRSP. The note discusses that the main strengths of the current process are strong government ownership; a broader participatory process that lays the foundation for greater civil society participation in public policy making; an improved poverty diagnosis; and ambitious plans for monitoring the overall effectiveness of Albania's public expenditures.
The macroeconomic environment of Japan has constantly been under pressure owing to rising public debt and fiscal deficits. Credit demand has been limited and has shown weak profitability. Growing risks have heightened concerns about a possible feedback to financial stability. This report summarizes the findings of the financial sector stability assessment of Japan. The Executive Board recommends a broad-based financial reform plan that could contribute to private sector growth. Suggested measures included allocating market-based credit to SMEs, improving the framework for capital markets, and consolidating and streamlining of regional banks.
In this paper, the following statistical data are presented in detail: national accounts at current prices, index of industrial production, selected sugar statistics, tourism statistics, retail labor index, wage indicators, operations of the consolidated public sector, central governments operations and transfers, summary accounts of the consolidated banking system, selected interest rates, total exports and imports, financial system credit to the private sector, liquidity position of commercial banks, services, investment income, current transfers, summary of external debt, direction of trade, and so on.
This Article IV Consultation reports that macroeconomic developments in Guatemala have been broadly positive since 2010. Although the external current account deficit widened in 2011, the surplus in the capital account was larger, partly owing to banks’ increased access to foreign credit lines. Executive Directors have welcomed Guatemala’s economic recovery and the favorable outlook, considering that the policy stance for 2012 is broadly appropriate. Directors have also encouraged the authorities to improve public expenditure management.
This study takes stock of the institutional reform of monetary policy in Latin America since the early 1990s. It argues that strengthening the legal independence of central banks, together with macroeconomic policies, was instrumental in reducing inflation from three-digit annual rates in the 1990s to single-digit territory in 2004. The paper also discusses the main challenges of monetary policy today, namely, achieving price stability, restoring market confidence in domestic currencies, and sticking to policy consistency despite adverse effects of the volatility of capital flows. Finally, recurrent banking crises and lack of fiscal discipline are identified as the main risks for the success of monetary policy in Latin America.
What is the human cost of the global economic crisis? This year’s Global Monitoring Report, The MDGs after the Crisis, examines the impact of the worst recession since the Great Depression on poverty and human development outcomes in developing countries. Although the recovery is under way, the impact of the crisis will be lasting and immeasurable. The impressive precrisis progress in poverty reduction will slow, particularly in low-income countries in Africa. No household in developing countries is immune. Gaps will persist to 2020. In 2015, 20 million more people in Sub-Saharan Africa will be in extreme poverty and 53 million more people globally. Even households above the $1.25-a-day poverty line in higher-income developing countries are coping by buying cheaper food, delaying other purchases, reducing visits to doctors, working longer hours, or taking multiple jobs. The crisis will also have serious costs on human development indicators: • 1.2 million more children under age five and 265,000 more infants will die between 2009 and 2015. • 350,000 more students will not complete primary education in 2015. • 100 million fewer people will have access to safe drinking water in 2015 because of the crisis. History tells us that if we let the recovery slide and allow the crisis to lead to widespread domestic policy failures and institutional breakdowns in poor countries, the negative impact on human development outcomes, especially on children and women, will be disastrous. The international financial institutions and international community responded strongly and quickly to the crisis, but more is needed to sustain the recovery and regain the momentum in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Developing countries will also need to implement significant policy reforms and strengthen institutions to improve the efficiency of service delivery in the face of fiscal constraints. Unlike previous crises, however, this one was not caused by domestic policy failure in developing countries. So better development outcomes will also hinge on a rapid global economic recovery that improves export conditions, terms-oftrade, and affordable capital flows—as well as meeting aid commitments to low-income countries. Global Monitoring Report 2010, seventh in this annual series, is prepared jointly by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It provides a development perspective on the global economic crisis and assesses the impact on developing countries—their growth, poverty reduction, and other MDGs. Finally, it sets out priorities for policy responses, both by developing countries and by the international community.
This paper examines the Republic of Moldova’s 2002 Article IV Consultation, First Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, and a Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria. Moldova has followed sound macroeconomic policies, and most financial targets under the 2001 program were met. Structural reforms slowed in 2001, but gained momentum in 2002. Implementation of most program benchmarks was delayed because of a change in government. The focus now is on fiscal reforms and on improvements in the legal framework.
The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has most of the essential elements for a suitable framework for financial supervision. There is a weakness with respect to onsite supervision of banking, insurance, and securities sectors; and there is currently no regular and comprehensive examination and compliance program in operation. Although the legal and supervisory frameworks are adequately structured, the implementation of the full range of supervisory measures has not yet been fully achieved. However, the government is implementing a comprehensive examination methodology and plan.
The First Review Under the Standby Credit Facility (SCF) discusses Solomon Islands’ satisfactory performance under the SCF-supported program, approved in December 2011. The current arrangement is intended to be precautionary and, given the current level of reserves, the authorities do not intend to draw on the IMF's resources unless an unexpected need arises. The outlook remains favorable, but with large near-term downside risks. Substantial progress has been made toward implementing structural benchmarks.
This 2012 Article IV Consultation highlights that despite a difficult economic and social context, Burundi has made steady, though uneven, progress in implementing its Extended Credit Facility (ECF)-supported economic reforms. Real GDP growth is estimated to have increased to 4.2 percent in 2011. The medium-term macroeconomic outlook is challenging. Risks emanate from a delicate social situation given persistent shocks and the high cost of living. Executive Directors have emphasized the importance of pursuing public financial management reforms to foster greater transparency and accountability, and to strengthen institutional capacity.
The Indonesian economy proved resilient during the global financial crisis, and has since continued to grow at a robust rate. Increases in both foreign and domestic investment are expected to offset lower growth contributions from net exports as import demand rises. A key risk is deterioration in growth for advanced economies. Continued exchange rate flexibility will be important in managing volatile capital flows, and the build-up in reserves. Fiscal developments are consistent with the government’s firm commitment to sustainability and strong public finances.
Kazakhstan’s financial system remains highly stressed despite large-scale government support; the economy is expected to contract in the near future. The staff report for Kazakhstan’s 2009 Article IV Consultation discusses economic developments and policies. Kazakhstan is better placed than many emerging market economies to weather the crisis given its large official foreign currency assets, low public debt, and favorable medium-term prospects. A full and independent assessment of all systemically important banks should be carried out in tandem with the strengthening of regulation and supervision, and the improvement of corporate governance.
Nepal has grappled with formidable economic and social challenges. Although the Nepalese economy performed well, growth has been hampered by weak infrastructure, low saving and investment rates, fiscal constraints, and a lack of absorptive capacity for boosting the needed public investment. Fiscal performance has been favorable, but progress in the area of structural reform was less encouraging. The report analyzes the recent macroeconomic developments, poverty, and environmental issues. The study also reviews the country's external and monetary developments, the fiscal situation, and structural issues.
This Statistical Appendix report on Sudan discusses economic indicators for the period 1994–2000. The report discusses gross domestic product; agricultural production; yield of cotton and noncotton crops; livestock production; manufacturing production; electricity tariff data; consumer and wholesale price indices; central government revenue and expenditure details; official exchange rates; analytical accounts of deposit money banks; monetary authorities' accounts; summary balance of payments; export and import data; loan disbursements; external public debt; and so on.
The paper assesses the competitiveness of Swiss exporters, and shows that the effect of nominal exchange rate on trade balance depends on the degree of exchange rate pass-through and on trade elasticities. It highlights that the degree of exchange rate pass-through should also be factored in monetary policy decisions. The authorities are considering legislative changes to strengthen macroprudential oversight by supporting the mutual cooperation between Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and Swiss National Bank (SNB) over the financial stability. The scope of the too-big-to-fail (TBTF) proposal should also be broadened to address systematic risk.
Pakistan showed good macroeconomic performance and structural reforms under the program supported by the Stand-By Arrangement. Executive Directors welcomed this development, and stressed the need for sustained implementation of firm macroeconomic policies, increased revenue collection effort, and a substantial reallocation of public expenditure toward poverty-reducing spending. They emphasized the need to improve governance, accelerate structural reforms, and strengthen the financial system. Directors agreed that the country has successfully completed the second review under the Stand-By Arrangement, and approved a waiver.
This paper presents key findings of the Financial System Stability Assessment for New Zealand, including Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Monetary and Financial Policy Transparency, Banking Supervision, and Securities Regulation. The assessment reveals that New Zealand has a profitable and well-functioning financial system, operating in a framework of well-developed financial markets. Short-term risks to stability appear low, given the favorable macroeconomic outlook, and sound and transparent financial policies. Stress tests for systemically important banks show resilience consistent with the sector’s relatively high levels of capital and profits.
Tonga’s economy has become increasingly vulnerable. Fiscal discipline has weakened, undermining macroeconomic stability and external viability. Medium-term prospects have deteriorated. Moreover, there are other serious downside risks to the fiscal outlook. Further monetary tightening in response to the wage settlement and the full flexibility of the exchange rate system are required. A larger and more dynamic private sector offering alternative employment opportunities would facilitate the downsizing of the public sector. There is a need to improve the reliability, coverage, and timeliness of statistics.
After the global financial crisis, economic growth of the Philippines has increased. However, renewed shocks to global growth and financial markets would affect Philippine exports and remittances. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) appropriately has started to unwind its liquidity support measures since early 2010. Traditional toolkits are available for managing external inflows. The planned gradual withdrawal of fiscal stimulus and the focus on medium-term consolidation are welcomed. Public–private partnership programs can play an important role, and a medium-term Philippine development plan could also be prepared.
This paper describes economic developments in Colombia during the 1990s. Economic activity slowed in 1991 as financial policies were tightened to curb inflation. However, activity rebounded strongly to an average of 5 percent a year in 1992–94, buoyed by the trade and financial liberalization, the discovery of substantial new oil fields, relaxation of credit policies, and higher coffee export prices in 1994. Substantial growth was recorded in investment, transport, construction, and service activities, and the unemployment rate fell from 10.5 percent in 1990 to 7.9 percent by end-1994, notwithstanding a moderate increase in labor force participation.
The floods in Pakistan are a natural disaster of massive proportions. The overall impact will critically depend on how the floods will affect agricultural output along the Indus and its tributaries. The Pakistani authorities request financial assistance under the IMF policy for Emergency Natural Disaster Assistance (ENDA). Based on these developments, prior to the floods, IMF staff had projected a GDP growth rate of 4¼ percent and an annual inflation rate of 11.5 percent for 2010/2011. The economic outlook has deteriorated sharply as a result of the floods.
This paper on the United Republic of Tanzania’s Poverty Reduction Strategy reports that increases in investments in infrastructure such as roads, telecommunications, mining, and tourism have been recorded owing to increased inflows of foreign direct investments and domestic revenue effort. Significant improvement in performance is evident in areas such as primary education and road network. The current levels of delivery of services require further improvements in quantity and quality, which call for sustained investments in all sectors.
Despite security risks and some major natural disasters, Indonesia has continued to make steady economic progress in recent years. Recent sound macroeconomic management has calmed inflation pressures, though financial markets remain volatile. In the short term, activity should regain momentum but there are downside risks. There is scope for fiscal policy to support activity in 2006, while still firmly pursuing reduction of the public debt burden over the medium term. The authorities have done much to reduce macroeconomic vulnerabilities in recent years.
This third edition of the Global Monitoring Report examines the commitments and actions of donors, international financial institutions, and developing countries to implement the Millennium Declaration, signed by 189 countries in 2000. Many countries are off track to meet the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in Africa and South Asia, but new evidence is emerging that higher-quality aid and a better policy environment are accelerating progress in some countries, and that the benefits of this progress are reaching poor families. This report takes a closer look at the donors' 2005 commitments to aid and debt relief, and argues that rigorous, sustained monitoring is needed to ensure that they are met and deliver results, and to prevent the cycle of accumulating unsustainable debt from repeating itself. International financial institutions need to focus on development outcomes rather than inputs, and strengthen their capacity to manage for results in developing countries.
Civil service reform is often essential to bring about governanceimprovements that are needed for sustainable poverty reduction.A workshop hosted by the World Bank and the IMF in September 2001provided a forum to review the effectiveness of Bank-Fund advice and programs on civil service reform, and to propose ways to improve jointefforts in coming years. Programs in 11 countries were examined, (Benin,Bolivia, Cambodia, Macedonia, Mali, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Tanzania,Yemen, Zambia), and macrofiscal and structural outcomes of Bank-Fund workin those countries considered. This book is a joint publication betweenthe IMF and the World Bank.
This paper reviews economic developments in Turkmenistan during 1996–99. Inflation is an issue in Turkmenistan. The trend decline that started in mid-1996 came to a halt in late 1998 and inflation continued to increase in 1999. By mid-1999, 12-month inflation had increased to 25 percent. Owing to payment problems, gas exports to Ukraine were discontinued in early 1997, resulting in a sharp decline in real GDP in that year. In 1998, gas exports did not resume, other than small deliveries to Iran through a new pipeline that had become operational at end-1997.
This 2011 Article IV Consultation reports that Malaysia’s economy is vulnerable to a prolonged downturn in advanced economies or a sharp escalation in global financial stress. Weaker exports and terms of trade would spillover into domestic demand. Financial spillovers could include a reversal of cross-border bank and portfolio flows. Healthy financial and corporate balance sheets, ample foreign exchange reserves, and room to further loosen monetary policy would help contain the impact of an external shock on the financial sector and the economy.
This 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that eight consecutive years of growth in Barbados ended in 2001 as real GDP contracted by 2¾ percent, owing mainly to the adverse impact on tourism of the global economic slowdown and the September 11 terrorist attacks, as well as continuing declines in agriculture and manufacturing output. To lessen the impact of the September 11 attacks, the authorities implemented a national emergency program in the fourth quarter of 2001. Broad money grew by 5½ percent in 2001, reflecting capital inflows and an increase in international reserves.
This paper focuses on the Fifth Post-Program Monitoring Discussions with Jordan. Jordan’s economic performance remains strong. Growth is robust, core inflation is contained, the current account deficit is narrowing, reserves are comfortable, and the fiscal situation continues to improve. The Fifth Post-Program Monitoring Discussions focused on a large current account deficit, still high public debt, and rapid credit growth. The authorities consider the outlook for the Jordanian economy as strong, including on growth, inflation, and the current account.