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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The Chilean economy has been hit by the pandemic while recovering from the social unrest in late 2019, requiring substantial adjustment of economic policies and the appropriate use of existing policy buffers. Following a sharp decline in mid-2020, economic activity started recovering in 2020H2 in the wake of ample policy stimulus. Inflation remains near the policy target, with inflation expectations anchored, and the current account balance has improved amid a sharp drop in imports and relatively resilient exports. Fiscal and monetary policies remain guided by the structural fiscal balance rule and the inflation-targeting framework, respectively. Beyond the pandemic-related risks, there is uncertainty stemming from a series of elections and the outcome of a New Constitution process—scheduled to finish in mid-2022—which are expected to shape the public discourse and influence the policy agenda.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

On behalf of the Chilean authorities, I wish to thank staff for their open and constructive dialogue during the Article IV consultation, as well as the insightful report on the Chilean economy. The authorities attach great importance to staff’s assessment and policy recommendations.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that non-oil economic activity in the United Arab Emirates slowed to 3.7 percent in 2015. Negative effects on overall growth were partially offset by the increase in oil production. Despite the strong fiscal policy response to adjust to lower oil prices, the fiscal balance turned to a deficit of 2.1 percent of GDP, while the current account surplus declined to 3.3 percent of GDP. Banks remained well capitalized and liquid, though pressures on profitability are emerging as asset quality weakens owing to the economic slowdown and rising funding costs. Economic activity is expected to moderate further in 2016, before improving over the medium term.
Galina Hale, Mr. Tümer Kapan, and Ms. Camelia Minoiu
We study the transmission of financial sector shocks across borders through international bank connections. For this purpose, we use data on long-term interbank loans among more than 6,000 banks during 1997-2012 to construct a yearly global network of interbank exposures. We estimate the effect of direct (first-degree) and indirect (second-degree) exposures to countries experiencing systemic banking crises on bank profitability and loan supply. We find that direct exposures to crisis countries squeeze banks' profit margins, thereby reducing their returns. Indirect exposures to crisis countries enhance this effect, while indirect exposures to non-crisis countries mitigate it. Furthermore, crisis exposures have real effects in that they reduce banks' supply of domestic and cross-border loans. Our results, based on a large global sample, support the notion that interconnected financial systems facilitate shock transmission.
Mariam El Hamiani Khatat
This paper discusses key issues related to the conduct of monetary policy in countries that have Islamic banks. It describes the macrofinancial background and monetary policy frameworks where Islamic banks typically operate, and discusses the monetary transmission mechanism in economies where Islamic and conventional banking coexist. Most economies with Islamic banks also have conventional banks and this calls for a comprehensive approach to monetary policy. At the same time, a dual approach to monetary policy should be considered whenever the Islamic segment of the financial system is not as developed as the conventional one. The paper tries to shed light on potential spillovers between conventional and Islamic financial systems, and proposes specific recommendations on the design of Islamic monetary policy operations and for facilitating monetary transmission through the Islamic financial system.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses measures to strengthen fiscal policy and budget frameworks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It provides an overview of government’s revenue and expenditure developments, and presents fiscal sustainability analysis that is most relevant to countries with large hydrocarbon wealth such as the UAE. The paper discusses measures to contain expenditure growth—controlling the public wage bill, reducing subsidies and transfers, and stabilizing other expense in real terms. It also proposes options to increase nonhydrocarbon revenue such as broadening corporate income tax with lower rates, introducing a low rate-broad based value added tax, and levying an excise tax on automobiles.
Mr. Sami Ben Naceur, Mr. Adolfo Barajas, and Mr. Alexander Massara
The paper analyses existing country-level information on the relationship between the development of Islamic banking and financial inclusion. In Muslim countries—members of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC)—various indicators of financial inclusion tend to be lower, and the share of excluded individuals citing religious reasons for not using bank accounts is noticeably greater than in other countries; Islamic banking would therefore seem to be an effective avenue for financial inclusion. We found, however, that although physical access to financial services has grown more rapidly in the OIC countries, the use of these services has not increased as quickly. Moreover, regression analyis shows evidence of a positive link to credit to households and to firms for financing investment, but this empirical link remains tentative and relatively weak. The paper explores reasons that this might be the case and suggests several recommendations to enhance the ability of Islamic banking to promote financial inclusion.