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International Monetary Fund
The temporary increase in access limits under IMF emergency financing instruments will expire on October 5, 2020, unless extended. Access limits under emergency instruments (the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI)) were increased in April 2020 for a period of six months, from 50 to 100 percent of quota annually and from 100 to 150 percent of quota cumulatively. The increased limits are subject to review and can be extended before their expiration. It is proposed to extend the period of higher access limits for emergency financing for a period of six months, through April 6, 2021. Against a background of continued pandemic-related disruption, staff expects there could be significant demand for emergency lending in the October 2020–April 2021 period, including from countries with pending requests and from countries that received emergency support at levels less than the maximum amounts available. A six-month extension would give more time for countries to benefit from higher access limits under emergency financing.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Djibouti discusses that large-scale infrastructure investments and a rapid expansion of trade and logistics activities have fueled strong growth in recent years. The government has in recent years implemented large-scale investments to develop transport and logistics infrastructures. Combined with business climate reforms, this development strategy has fueled strong growth and positioned Djibouti well to become a regional trade and logistics hub. The IMF staff’s baseline projections assume a significant reduction in debt financed public investment. Growth is nonetheless projected to remain strong, driven by the rapid expansion in Ethiopia’s trade and a pickup in private investment. Fostering higher and inclusive growth and bolstering the external position require addressing impediments to private sector investment and improving external competitiveness. Critical reforms include further enhancing the business environment, promoting competition, and improving the governance and efficiency of public enterprises to lower factor costs, particularly in the telecommunications and electricity sectors.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The Germany economy has performed very well in recent years, supported by prudent economic management and past structural reforms. Growth is robust, employment is rising, and the unemployment rate has fallen to levels not seen in decades. Inflation remains low but wage growth is picking up, reflecting the strength of the labor market. Looking beyond these positive cyclical developments, unfavorable demographics will soon weigh on potential growth and put pressure on public finances. Having already accumulated sizable buffers through savings, Germany should now prioritize domestic investment in physical and human capital to prepare for the future. The new government's coalition agreement contains several welcome measures in this direction, but more forceful actions to boost labor supply and increase labor productivity would help stimulate domestic investment and reduce Germany’s large current account surplus.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Panama’s economy as the fastest growing in Latin America over the past two decades. It is expected to remain among the most dynamic in the region, with stable and low inflation, sustainable public debt, a declining current account deficit, and a stable financial sector. Economic growth moderated to 4.9 percent in 2016 in the face of external headwinds, and inflation and unemployment remain subdued but have risen slightly. Fiscal consolidation continues in line with fiscal rule targets, and public debt is sustainable. Credit growth remains strong, but has begun to slow recently. The outlook is favorable despite heightened external uncertainty.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that China is transitioning to a new normal, with slower-yet-safer, more sustainable growth. Growth in 2014 fell to 7.4 percent and, in 2015, is forecast to slow further to 6.8 percent on the back of slower investment, especially in real estate. The labor market has remained resilient despite slower growth, as the economy pivots toward the more labor-intensive service sector. Considerable progress has been made in external rebalancing. The current account surplus fell to 2.1 percent in 2014 from the peak of about 10 percent in 2007, and the renminbi has appreciated by about 10 percent since 2014 in real effective terms. Further progress has also been made on domestic rebalancing.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that the ongoing upturn in Germany is benefiting from the euro depreciation and lower energy prices, and is underpinned by a healthy fiscal position and sound corporate and household balance sheets. Employment growth has been robust, supported by strong immigration. The unemployment rate hit an additional post-reunification low at 4.7 percent. The oil price drop brought inflation temporarily close to zero, which has contributed to lift real wage growth to a 20-year high. The current moderate growth momentum is expected to continue as robust real wages buoy private consumption and euro depreciation buttresses exports, opening the way for a recovery in machinery and equipment investment.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Over the last half decade, San Marino’s economy has managed to weather the implosion of its offshore banking model, the global crisis, and Italy’s decision to put San Marino on a tax blacklist. Together, these shocks resulted in a loss of a third of output since 2008, caused banking system NPLs to rise to over 40 percent—with the largest bank requiring 13 percent of GDP in public support—and pushed up net public debt by some 20 percent of GDP (from virtually nil five years ago). Looking forward, the economy is stabilizing, reflecting the inclusion of San Marino in Italy’s tax whitelist, but downside risks persist.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
KEY ISSUES Context: ? Germany fundamentals are sound: balance sheets are generally healthy, unemployment is at a historic low, and the fiscal position is strong. ? While a recovery is underway, medium-term growth prospects are subdued and the current account surplus remains high. The economy also faces a still weak international environment, lingering uncertainty (including about future energy costs), and fast approaching adverse demographic changes. ? Germany could do more to increase its growth, thus strengthening its role as an engine of euro area recovery. Policy recommendations: ? Germany has the fiscal space to finance an increase in needed public investment, particularly in the transport infrastructure. Unlike public consumption, this would durably raise German output and have measurable growth spillovers on the rest of the euro area. ? Further reforms in services sector regulation would boost competition and productivity. ? Greater clarity about the future energy sector regulatory framework would encourage private investment in the energy infrastructure and beyond and strengthen the outlook. ? Decisions on the future level of the minimum wage should take into account the employment effects in certain regions. ? Banks should keep strengthening their capital position ahead of the completion of the ECB’s Comprehensive Assessment. ? The macroprudential framework needs to be ready as monetary conditions are set to remain accommodative for a prolonged period.