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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Political turmoil and conflict in Nepal reduced growth in 2005, but, according to the IMF’s annual economic review, inflation was moderate, the overall fiscal deficit was significantly lower than budgeted, the current account and overall balance of payments remained in surplus, and international reserves were adequate. Financial soundness indicators also improved somewhat, thanks to banking sector reforms.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Although Ghana began liberalizing its economy in the mid-1980s, the government has retained control of some enterprises that engage in quasi-fiscal activities. These are off-budget activities undertaken by the central bank and some public financial and nonfinancial enterprises. How extensive are these activities, and what are their consequences? A new IMF Working Paper by Mali Chivakul and Robert C. York finds that quasi-fiscal activities have caused serious distortions in energy and water consumption and in the investment decisions of the affected enterprises and the private sector.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The SDR interest rate and the rate of remuneration are equal to a weighted average of interest rates on specified short-term domestic obligations in the money markets of the five countries whose currencies constitute the SDR valuation basket. The rate of remuneration is the rate of return on members’ remunerated reserve tranche positions. The rate of charge, a proportion of the SDR interest rate, is the cost of using the IMF’s financial resources. All three rates are computed each Friday for the following week. The basic rates of remuneration and charge are further adjusted to reflect burden-sharing arrangements. For the latest rates, call (202) 623-7171 or check the IMF website (http://www.imf.org/cgi-shl/bur.pl?2004).

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

01/195: Globalization and Firms’ Financing Choices: Evidence from Emerging Economies, Sergio Schmukler and Esteban Vesperoni

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following are excerpts of the proposals made by Bundesbank President Hans Tietmeyer on ways to improve coordination between global authorities that monitor financial developments.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Globalization—the focus of the IMF’s May 1997 World Economic Outlook (see IMF Survey, May 12, 1997, page 149)—is a fundamental source not only of economic growth but also of structural change, presenting policymakers with both new opportunities and challenges. To address some of the issues raised by globalization, the IMF sponsored an Economic Forum on May 5 at IMF headquarters. Moderated by Graham Hacche of the IMF’s Research Department, participants included Dani Rodrik of Harvard University, and Robert Wescott and Phillip Swagel of the IMF’s Research Department. Issues considered included the contribution of globalization to convergence between the income levels of the developing and advanced economies, the effect of competition from the developing world on wages and employment in advanced economies, and the impact of globalization on domestic policies and institutions.