International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper examines the policy implications of structural changes in financial markets. Domestic financial markets have become less segmented, and the major financial centers more integrated. At the same time, the structural changes in financial markets have improved efficiency by lowering intermediation costs, increasing the ability to hedge financial risks associated with currency, interest rate, and price volatility and opening up access to new sources of savings. The widespread application of computer and telecommunications technology to financial markets has permitted markets to process a significantly larger volume of transactions.
Detailed annual data for Fund member governments are supplied on revenue income by source (tax, lending, bonds, etc.), and expenditure by sector (defense, education, health, etc.) for all levels of government (national, state, local). Topics covered include deficit/surplus or total financing, revenues or grants, expenditures, lending minus repayments, domestic financing, foreign financing, domestic debt or total debt, and foreign debt. The Yearbook provides data on budgetary operations, extra-budgetary operations, social security, and consolidated financial operations of central governments. A section of the Government Finance Statistics Yearbook is devoted to a cross-country comparison of data.
This paper discusses implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) in Liberia. Liberia’s PRS articulates the government’s overall vision and major strategies for moving toward rapid, inclusive, and sustainable growth and development during the period 2008–11. This paper provides the context for the PRS by describing the conflict and economic collapse, the transition beyond conflict, and the initial progress achieved during the past two years. It stresses that Liberia must create much greater economic and political opportunities for all its citizens and ensure that growth and development are widely shared.
Liberia made slow progress on the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). The impact of the global economic crisis affected implementation and slowed the pace of growth. With the development of the Public Financial Management (PFM) framework, a PRS deliverable, the credibility of the country’s financial systems is being restored. Increased vigilance in tax collection efforts, expansion of the tax base, and the elimination of discretionary exceptions led to a rise in revenue by 13.5 percent from US$207 million in fiscal year (FY) 2007/08 to US$235 million in FY2008/09.
This report assesses the design, implementation, and effectiveness of Liberia’s first Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). The PRS described the objectives for each pillar and sector, often with numerical projections, and these were essentially the intended outcomes. The Economic Corridors study and anecdotal evidence suggest that the initial emphasis on providing inputs to stimulate production brought farmers up against constraints in storage, transport and marketing, leading them to pull back on production after they encountered difficulty in selling their produce.
Poverty has been a major challenge for Liberia. All developmental, governance, and social indicators have shown improvement as a result of a more robust implementation strategy led by the government with the support of development partners, civil society, and the private sector. The general economic condition has improved. However, enormous challenges remain for crafting of the next development strategy to fill any potential gap in development planning, the mobilizing and strategically placing of the private sector at the heart of economic growth and job creation.
This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper outlines the recent developments in the political and security situation in Congo. It reviews economic performance during 1970–2003, including in the context of IMF-supported programs. The paper also reviews recent developments in public finance management, and examines the constraints on growth and poverty reduction. The sources of economic growth during 1970–2003 are analyzed. The paper also discusses the feasibility of an oil fiscal rule, and notes some key lessons and challenges for the Congo.