International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
This paper is the sixth in a series that examines macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income countries (LICs). LICs are defined in this report as the countries eligible to PRGT facilities (69 countries). The first section of the paper discusses recent macroeconomic developments and trends across LICs. The second section estimates LICs’ financing needs up to 2025 to resume and accelerate their income convergence with advanced economies (AEs). It does this by estimating the additional financing that would enable LICs to step up spending response to COVID, including vaccination needs, while rebuilding or keeping external buffers to enhance resilience, and then the paper considers the financing needed to allow LICs to accelerate convergence with AEs. The paper then discusses a mix of financing options, including concessional financing from the international financial institutions, grants and loans from bilateral donors, private financing and debt operations, but also domestic reforms within LICs themselves as a key component to foster growth, enhance private investment, raise public revenues, and increase efficiency of spending.
This review examines experience in implementing the lessons drawn in the 2011 Board paper on the Fund’s engagement with countries in post-conflict and fragile situations (more commonly referred to as fragile states (FS)) and the ensuing 2012 Guidance Note. The focus is on capacity building, Fund facilities and program design, and policy support. The review identifies scope to improve the Fund’s engagement in selected areas.
IMF lending is conditional on a country's commitment to carry out an agreed program of economic policies. Unless that commitment is genuine and broadly held, the likelihood of implementation will be poor. Is there a conflict between national commitment and conditional finance? Are national authorities or other agents in the country less likely to "own" a reform program simply because it is conditionally financed? This paper argues that potential conflicts are reduced when program design takes the country's interests and circumstances into account and when conditionality results from a genuine process of interaction between the IMF and the borrower.
The limited supply of government securities in some industrial countries has important ramifications for the operating techniques used by central banks to implement monetary policy, provide credit to the financial sector, and also for the assets they hold on their balance sheets. The paper reviews the salient facts regarding industrial central bank balance sheets and operating techniques, and outlines different options for dealing with a limited supply of government securities. The main conclusion is that central banks may wish to consider extending credit using a broad range of assets as collateral, and engage in outright transactions of securities guaranteed by financial institutions.
For more than three decades, Honduras’s average annual growth in real per capita GDP has been almost zero and highly uneven, even though its total investment-to-GDP ratio has been relatively large. This paper argues that policy and efficiency variables seem to have had less of an influence on growth in Honduras than they had on other countries. Instead, lack of growth can be attributed to the offsetting negative influence of low labor and capital productivity, which result from deficient levels of human capital and inadequate composition of investment. Other constraints to growth in Honduras include inadequate physical and institutional infrastructures.
Economic development in the Caribbean is dependent upon the interplay of certain powerful political and social factors that sets it apart from other developing areas of the world. The authors identify these factors and their effects on economic decisionmaking and growth in this region.