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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic expansion continues, driven primarily by private consumption and exports of goods and services. Discussions primarily focused on increasing the economy’s flexibility and resilience. Fiscal performance has been strong, however, the materialization of contingent liabilities from government guarantees is likely to reduce the overall surplus. Low public and private investment, and continued emigration appear to weigh on medium-term growth prospects. Downside risks in the near-term stem could be due to possible changes in regional or global economic and financial conditions, and the further realization of contingent liabilities. The IMF staff advocated for a moderately faster fiscal adjustment. The report recommends accelerating the pace of debt reduction that would build fiscal space and help reduce downside risks. The Central Bank may need to address potentially tighter external conditions while continuing with strong bank supervision and macroprudential policies. Additional measures to prevent excessive household borrowing could be considered if needed.
Mr. Daniel C Hardy and Philipp Hochreiter
A mechanism is proposed that aims to reduce the risk of a banking sector liquidity crisis—which is a quintessentially systemic event and thus the object of macroprudential policy—and moderate the effects of a crisis should one occur. The instrument would give banks more incentive to build up buffers of systemically liquid assets as a proportion of their total liabilities, yet these buffers would be usable in times of stress. The modalities of the instrument are considered with a view to making it effective, efficient, and robust.