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International Monetary Fund

The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for the Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement on the Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia highlights economic developments and policies. FYR of Macedonia’s economic performance since independence has been marked by notable achievements in macroeconomic management, as well as some disappointments in the area of structural reforms. Inflation was brought down from hyperinflation levels to the low single digits by the de facto exchange rate peg, which was sustained in spite of sometimes challenging circumstances.

Mr. Thomas F Alexander, Ms. Claudia H Dziobek, and Tadeusz Galeza
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015 represent a new global consensus to end poverty, promote prosperity, and protect the environment. Goal 8 seeks to improve global resource efficiency in consumption and production and to decouple economic growth (GDP) from environmental degradation while Goal 12 focuses on sustainable consumption and production. While GDP does not capture these broader goals, we suggest that the System of National Accounts which incorporates but goes well beyond GDP, can be used for the measurement of these SDGs and to support policy. We construct a conceptual “super balance sheet” with an expanded asset boundary to include durable consumer goods used to produce services, human capital, and access to resources such as clean water and air, education, health, and infrastructure, to produce an expanded household net worth.
Mr. Andrew Baer, Mr. Kwangwon Lee, and James Tebrake
Digitalization and the innovative use of digital technologies is changing the way we work, learn, communicate, buy and sell products. One emerging digital technology of growing importance is cloud computing. More and more businesses, governments and households are purchasing hardware and software services from a small number of large cloud computing providers. This change is having an impact on how macroeconomic data are compiled and how they are interpreted by users. Specifically, this is changing the information and communication technology (ICT) investment pattern from one where ICT investment was diversified across many industries to a more concentrated investment pattern. Additionally, this is having an impact on cross-border flows of commercial services since the cloud service provider does not need to be located in the same economic territory as the purchaser of cloud services. This paper will outline some of the methodological and compilation challenges facing statisticians and analysts, provide some tools that can be used to overcome these challenges and highlight some of the implications these changes are having on the way users of national accounts data look at investment and trade in commercial services.
S. V. S. Dixit and Mr. Maxwell Opoku-Afari
This paper uses a set of routinely collected high-frequency data in low-income countries (LICs) to construct an aggregate and a comprehensive index of economic activity which could serve (i) as a measure of the direction of economic activity; and (ii) as a useful input in analyzing contemporaneous real sector performance in LICs in the absence of high-frequency, and often outdated, GDP data. It could also serve as a useful tool for policymakers to gauge short-term dynamics of economic activity and shape appropriate and timely policy responses.
Jørgen R. Lotz and Elliott R. Morss

THE QUESTION often arises whether there is scope for an increase in the level of taxation in a country as part of a stabilization program, for the mobilization of resources to finance a development program, or for other purposes. A relevant consideration in answering this question is how the tax effort of the country compares with that of other countries in similar circumstances.