International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.
This Selected Issues paper reviews West African Economic and Monetary Union’s (WAEMU) regional macroeconomic surveillance framework to control all sources of debt accumulation and ensure debt sustainability. WAEMU’s regional surveillance framework aims at ensuring the sustainability of national fiscal policies and their consistency with the common monetary policy. While fiscal deficits have been the main driver of public debt across WAEMU member countries, the size of residual factors has varied greatly among these countries. The WAEMU Macroeconomic Surveillance Framework would benefit from adjustments to more effectively set the region’s public debt on a sustainable path. In addition, beyond adhering to the WAEMU fiscal deficit rule, member countries must curb below-the-budget-line operations. This would require improved monitoring of fiscal risks and the building of adequate budget provisions to address such risks before they materialize. Improved Treasury practices would also help eliminate the recourse to pre-financing arrangements and tighten control over expenditure. Public dissemination of the WAEMU progress report and strengthened peer-to-peer learning among member countries could improve the momentum for reforms.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes impact of debt on growth in South Africa. A permanent increase of four percentage points of gross domestic product (GDP) in national government expenditure underlies the doubling of public debt in the last decade. The wage bill accounted for most of the expenditure increase (64 percent), followed by the interest bill (23 percent). The debt expansion, thus, financed a countercyclical fiscal policy centered on current spending, which likely shielded the impact of subdued economic activity, but had limited permanent effects on growth. Had resources devoted to wage increases and debt service payments been invested in more productive outlays, such as highly productive capital expenditure and reforms in key network industries, the growth gains would have been higher. The spending increase that drove the large debt accumulation helped smooth the impact of the global financial crisis, but likely did not have a material impact on growth.
The Colombian economy proved resilient to the global financial crisis, and a solid recovery is under way. The pace of monetary tightening envisaged strikes the right balance between restraining credit growth and mitigating incentives for further capital inflows. A sudden acceleration of domestic demand places an additional burden on monetary policy. Colombia’s financial sector oversight is solid, and plans to strengthen cross-border and consolidated supervision are commended. Steep taxation of labor and a relatively high minimum wage are significant hindrances to competitiveness. Colombia’s exchange restrictions remain unchanged.
The main drivers of economic growth in Armenia were the construction and service sectors. The global economic crisis resulted in a substantial change in the structure of the economy. The drastic decline in the volume of foreign financing prejudice the continuation of rapid economic growth in the medium term and point to the need for incentives for exports and diversification, as well as encouraging of high-quality job openings and high levels of productivity. Reforms are needed in the key sectors of agriculture and infrastructure.
The report gives details of the economic analysis for the implementation of Chile's inflation targeting framework. It reviews the current state of liquidity in the Chilean fixed-income markets and developments and impediments to the supply of corporate bonds to the market. The paper considers a number of microstructure issues, transparency in the Over-the-Counter (OTC) market, addresses the role of public debt in facilitating development of the financial markets, and discusses a potential debt management framework that would support the development of a liquid public debt market.
This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that Nepal’s economic growth has been affected by the political turmoil and conflict, although inflation has remained moderate, and international reserves are adequate. Real GDP growth averaged 2 percent during 2000/01–2004/05, compared with the 1990s when growth in agricultural productivity and significant trade liberalization contributed to average real GDP growth of 5 percent. Inflation has remained in the low single digits, although it rose to 7¾ percent in mid-October 2005. The overall and domestically financed deficits remained limited in 2004/05.
Kenya showed poor implementation of policies and weak economic performance under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement. The government formulated a new Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (ERSWEC) aimed to address major macroeconomic vulnerabilities. Executive Directors emphasized the need for domestic debt reduction, the restructuring of spending, and a sustained implementation of the reform agenda. They suggested that bold reforms will be essential to encourage private investment and to mobilize adequate donor support for the reforms.
This paper examines Sri Lanka’s Request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and a Request for an Extended Arrangement. In line with the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and building on the progress made under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), the PRGF-Enhanced Fund Facility (EFF)-supported program aims to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty. The IMF staff recommends extension to the obligations schedule of SBA repurchase expectations arising during July 2003–June 2004.