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Sangyup Choi, Davide Furceri, and Chansik Yoon
This paper sheds new light on the degree of international fiscal-financial spillovers by investigating the effect of domestic fiscal policies on cross-border bank lending. By estimating the dynamic response of U.S. cross-border bank lending towards the 45 recipient countries to exogenous domestic fiscal shocks (both measured by spending and revenue) between 1990Q1 and 2012Q4, we find that expansionary domestic fiscal shocks lead to a statistically significant increase in cross-border bank lending. The magnitude of the effect is also economically significant: the effect of 1 percent of GDP increase (decrease) in spending (revenue) is comparable to an exogenous decline in the federal funds rate. We also find that fiscal shocks tend to have larger effects during periods of recessions than expansions in the source country, and that the adverse effect of a fiscal consolidation is larger than the positive effect of the same size of a fiscal expansion. In contrast, we do not find systematic and statistically significant differences in the spillover effects across recipient countries depending on their exchange rate regime, although capital controls seem to play some moderating role. The extension of the analysis to a panel of 16 small open economies confirms the finding from the U.S. economy.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., and International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Despite a long history of program engagement, the Fund has not developed guidance on program design in members of currency unions. The Fund has engaged with members of the four currency unions—the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, the European Monetary Union, and the West African Economic and Monetary Union—under Fund-supported programs. In some cases, union-wide institutions supported their members in undertaking adjustment under Fund-supported programs. As such, several programs incorporated—on an ad hoc basis—critical policy actions that union members had delegated. Providing general guidance on program design for members in a currency union context would fill a gap in Fund policy and help ensure consistent, transparent, and evenhanded treatment across Fund-supported programs. This paper considers two options on when and how the Fund should seek policy assurances from union-level institutions in programs of currency union members. Option 1 would involve amending the Conditionality Guidelines, which would allow the use of standard conditionality tools with respect to actions by union-level institutions. Option 2—which staff prefers—proposes formalizing current practices and providing general guidance regarding principles and modalities on policy assurances from union-level institutions in support of members’ adjustment programs. Neither option would infringe upon the independence (or legally-provided autonomy) of union-level institutions, since the institutions would decide what measures or policy actions to take—just as any independent central bank or monetary authority does, for example, in non-CU members.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Morocco’s Ex Post Evaluation of Exceptional Access Under the 2012 Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) Arrangement. The Ex Post Evaluation confirms that the 2012–14 PLL arrangement was consistent with the PLL qualification standards and requirements under the exceptional access policy at the time of the PLL arrangement request in August 2012 and at the subsequent reviews. The authorities’ policies helped maintain macroeconomic stability and reduce fiscal and external vulnerabilities, despite unfavorable external developments. It is observed that despite the significant macroeconomic achievements under the 2012–14 PLL arrangement, a number of policy challenges remained to be fully addressed.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This paper discusses Morocco’s First Review Under the Arrangement Under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL). Significant progress was made in implementing the reform agenda. The program remains broadly on track, and Morocco continues to meet the qualification criteria for a PLL. The fiscal end-September indicative target was missed by 0.7 percent of GDP. Subject to the Executive Board’s positive assessment in the context of the 2014 Article IV consultation, the IMF staff recommends the completion of the first review under the PLL arrangement.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

KEY ISSUESContext. Georgia’s previous Fund-supported program, which expired in April 2014, met most of its objectives, in particular by reducing Georgia’s external and fiscal imbalances. The program also helped preserve the central bank’s independence after the 2012–13 political transition and strengthened its inflation-targeting framework. However, over time it proved increasingly difficult to reconcile the program’s fiscal objectives with the new government’s policies of increasing social spending, especially after the economy slowed and revenues fell short in 2013. Also, despite the progress achieved under the program, macroeconomic challenges remain. The current account deficit and external debt are high, leaving the economy susceptible to shocks. Strong and inclusive growth is needed to reduce widespread poverty and high unemployment. More recently, the external outlook has worsened, opening up a balance of payments need in 2014.Program and its objectives. To address these challenges, the authorities request a new three-year SDR 100 million (67 percent of quota) Stand-by Arrangement to address an external financing need in 2014 related in part to the realignment of fiscal policies to more social spending. The program will facilitate Georgia’s external adjustment, reduce key macroeconomic vulnerabilities, rebuild policy buffers, and support growth.Program policies. In 2014, the program balances supporting domestic demand with the need to safeguard external stability. To reduce the output gap, fiscal policy provides a measured stimulus, while monetary policy remains accommodative. However, the authorities will tighten policies and allow the exchange rate to adjust if balance of payments pressures were to intensify. From 2015, the fiscal deficit will be reduced to keep public debt low and to create space for countercyclical policies. This consolidation will rely on raising revenue by broadening the tax base and containing current expenditure, while protecting pro-poor spending and public investment. Monetary policy will aim at price stability through improved inflation targeting. The program will seek to rebuild international reserves while encouraging greater exchange rate flexibility. Strengthening of the financial sector will continue, helped by the recommendations of the recent FSAP mission. The program also aims to contain risks from quasi-fiscal activities and support improvements in tax administration, and will complement the authorities’ reforms to strengthen the business environment, improveeducation and training, create jobs and reduce poverty and inequality.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Morocco’s 2013 Article IV Consultation on economic developments and policies. The IMF report highlights that despite unfavorable external and domestic environment Morocco’s economic performance has improved during 2013. The Morocco’s economy remains vulnerable to international conditions and a difficult regional environment. It focuses on the importance of giving more flexibility in the exchange rate regime that intends to support competitiveness, enhance the capacity of the economy to absorb shocks, and support the authorities’ strategy for diversifying external flows away from Europe.
Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Mr. Jonathan F Manning, and Jesmin Rahman
After the 2003-2007 economic boom, European countries with large pre-crisis current account imbalances are undergoing adjustments. Countries are adjusting at different paces and ways reflecting the source and magnitude of imbalances, availability of financing, competitiveness of the tradable sector and external environment. While emerging European countries with large pre-crisis imbalances and a fixed exchange rate regime have seen sharp current account adjustments and a rebound in growth, adjustment in the euro zone periphery countries, which are also carrying a legacy of pre-crisis CA imbalances, has been gradual with difficulties bringing back growth. This paper is an empirical investigation of current account adjustment in Europe with a focus on these two groups, looking at contributions from cyclical and other factors, and seeking to draw policy conclusions.