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Marco A Espinosa-Vega, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, Mr. Hector Carcel Villanova, Miss Esha Chhabra, Ms. Bidisha Das, and Ms. Yingjie Fan
This departmental paper marks the 10th anniversary of the IMF Financial Access Survey (FAS). It offers a retrospective of the FAS database, along with some reflections as to its future directions. Since its 2009 launch, the FAS has provided granular data on access to and use of financial services. It is a supply-side database with annual global coverage based on data sourced directly from financial service providers—aimed at supporting policymakers to target and evaluate financial inclusion policies. Its data collection has kept pace with financial innovation, such as the rise of mobile money and growing demand for gender-disaggregated data—and the FAS must continue to evolve.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with People’s Republic of China—Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) discusses that the economy is projected to start recovering next year, but the pace is expected to be gradual and both near- and medium-term risks have increased significantly, including from trade and technology tensions, ongoing social unrest, and structural challenges of insufficient housing supply and high income inequality. Hong Kong SAR is well placed to address both cyclical and structural challenges with its significant buffers thanks to its long history of prudent macroeconomic policies. Given that the fiscal framework permits deficits during economic downturns, government spending should be increased significantly in the areas of social safety nets, education/retraining, and infrastructure to cope with the cyclical downturn and address structural challenges of insufficient housing and high-income inequality. This should be complemented with measures to ensure fiscal sustainability and greater equity.
Mr. Robert M Heath and Evrim Bese Goksu
The G-20 Data Gaps Initiative (DGI), which aimed at addressing the information needs that were revealed by the 2007/2008 global financial crisis, concluded its first phase and started a second phase (DGI-2) with the endorsement of G-20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in September 2015. The DGI-2 recommendations maintain the continuity of DGI-1 but reflecting the evolving policy needs focus more on datasets that support the monitoring of risks in the financial sector and the analysis of the inter-linkages across the economic and financial systems. The paper presents the DGI as an overarching initiative, bringing together various statistical frameworks for a complete picture of the economic and financial system to support the work of policy makers.
Mr. C. A. E. Goodhart, Miguel A. Segoviano, and Boris Hofmann
This paper uses a Merton-type estimate of the probability of default (PoD) for the main banks in a sample of Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and middle-income countries as a proxy for the fragility of their banking systems. Based on theory and stylized facts, the paper explores a range of financial and real variables that explain such PoDs across time. We find property price fluctuations and bank credit to be important explanatory factors. There is two-way interaction between these variables and a clearer relationship when the variables are entered as a deviation from trend. The lag structure between such developments and PoDs is long and varies widely across countries. The paper assesses the implications of these findings for economic policy.