This Selected Issues paper presents scenarios to assess debt dynamics and discusses key considerations in developing a medium-term fiscal strategy and adjustments.in San Marino. San Marino faces new fiscal challenges. Recent interventions in the financial sector are set to increase the debt to gross domestic product (GDP) level, although the eventual level of public debt remains highly uncertain. The government has granted banks the right to convert tax credits to government bonds, thus creating contingent liabilities. Going forward a fiscal strategy is needed. The scenario analysis in this paper suggests that the debt-to-GDP ratio could rise to 55–90 percent of GDP. Such levels would be high for San Marino and well above the level observed in other European microstates. At the same time, government deposits have been decreasing to a low level. A medium-term fiscal strategy could thus aim at containing the debt-to-GDP ratio and rebuilding deposits. The analysis in this paper offered considerations that could be helpful in determining fiscal adjustments needed to reach such targets.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
The IMF has approved an exceptional access Stand-By Arrangement for Latvia. The program is part of a coordinated international effort that has improved financial and economic stability. By early 2008, the fast growth has leveled off but severe vulnerabilities turned the slowdown into a crisis. Immediate steps to stabilize the financial sector and help stem reserve losses has focused on resolving the systemic Parex Bank, which is experiencing a deposit run. Measures to ensure long-term external viability has focused on fiscal and income policies.
The fiscal policy stance continues to be appropriate, facilitating a reduction in public debt. Seychelles has made a good start on its second stage of reforms under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF)-supported program, despite a difficult international environment, showing strong resilience to the double crisis it confronted. The economy is reaping the benefits of strong macroeconomic stabilization policies. Seychelles remains highly exposed to external shocks. Progress on the ambitious program of tax and public finance management reform is encouraging, but important steps still lie ahead.
This paper discusses key findings of the First Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement for Macedonia. Macroeconomic performance of Macedonia remains strong. Through end-December 2005, the authorities met all of the program’s quantitative performance criteria. Growth has remained steady at about 4 percent. Gross reserves have risen above €1 billion, allowing interest rates on National Bank of Macedonia bills to fall since November from 10 percent to 7 percent. To complete the First Review, the authorities have committed to strong policies, including measures to correct for delays in the program’s structural reforms.
Antigua and Barbuda’s 2004 Article IV Consultation reports that growth has strengthened since mid-2003 owing to a rebound in tourism, but fiscal imbalances remain large, the debt stock is high, and arrears continue to mount. Tourism has rebounded strongly as the global economy strengthens and security concerns eased. Fiscal imbalances narrowed modestly, in large part owing to expenditure compression as financing constraints tightened. The administration has reiterated its campaign pledge to return normalcy to fiscal and debt relations, and improve governance and transparency.
This paper presents Romania’s First Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and a Request for Waiver and Modification of Performance Criteria. Output growth remains favorable and disinflation is proceeding. The current account deficit is in line with the program’s target, and the balance of payments is strengthening. Credit growth in general has slowed, but its foreign currency denominated component has picked up again. Net wage growth remains high, fueling consumption, but labor costs are not deviating substantially from productivity growth.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix examines the developments in the intergovernmental fiscal relations for the Republic of Estonia. The paper highlights that intergovernmental relations in Estonia have been marked in recent years by a strong push in the direction of fiscal decentralization. This trend has been part of the broader process of structural change, including privatization and liberalization of markets in Estonia. The paper analyzes the evolution of the financial sector. It also examines European Union accession and the economic policy of Estonia.