International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2013 Article IV consultation highlights Australia’s below-trend GDP growth and the beginning of the decline of the investment phase of the mining boom, which has passed its peak. A key issue now is how Australia can manage the mining-production/export phase and encourage broader-based growth. The main external risks include a slowdown in China over the medium term and surges in global financial market volatility. The pickup in housing market activity, though welcome to date, could pose a future risk if prices accelerate and lead to overshooting. The financial sector is resilient and has strengthened in recent years, although banks’ reliance on offshore funding will continue. The emphasis on tight lending standards and intensive supervision should help limit financial sector risks.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines the performance of Uruguay’s exports, external balances, and relative price movements over the past decade and applies the IMF’s standard external sector assessment tools to Uruguay. The results indicate that Uruguay has made important strides in export performance, including expanding markets shares over the past decade, driven by trade competitiveness gains. The current account deficit has remained well contained and more than fully financed by foreign direct investment over the past decade, notwithstanding external shocks. At the same time, the real exchange rate has appreciated strongly in recent years. Standard IMF equilibrium real exchange rate valuation models also suggest that the Uruguayan peso is slightly stronger than its equilibrium level.
Mongolia has made impressive progress in developing its economy over the past ten years. Medium-term prospects are promising as mining output is projected to expand by more than 20 percent per annum, on average, over the next five years. However, the prospects for sustained, rapid and inclusive non-mineral growth depend on the implementation of the stability-oriented fiscal framework that has been adopted in the aftermath of the 2008/09 balance of payments (BOP) crisis. This framework was designed to dampen volatility, mitigate risks to economic and financial stability, and strengthen long-term natural resource management. The expansionary fiscal policy of the past year is causing double-digit inflation and BOP pressures. Public spending needs to be reined in, in order not to risk undermining stability and growth prospects, and in view of Mongolia’s vulnerability to a downturn in commodities exports.
This paper analyzes Solomon Islands’ ongoing reforms concerning of the mineral taxation regime and the fiscal impact of mineral resources. The analysis shows that mineral revenue could be substantial, provided that mineral prices remain strong in the medium term. Enforcing the tax agreement with, a Gold Ridge company, and implementing the new resource taxation regime are critical to ensure that the forthcoming mineral wealth spills over to the rest of the economy. Solomon Islands should adopt new fiscal rules and fiscal responsibility provisions to manage large but volatile resource revenue.
Zambia’s nonperforming loans are expected to increase and banks have become more cautious in their lending. The staff report for the Zambia’s first and second reviews of the Three-Year Arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and request for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria, and Augmentation of Access is examined. The slowdown in external demand and uncertainty about the global outlook have negatively affected growth prospects and the balance of payments, and made the program targets for reserve accumulation unattainable.
The staff report for the 2010 Article IV Consultation underlies that in recent years, Mongolia’s economy has performed quite well. The inflation pressures reflected a relaxation of monetary and fiscal policies and large increases in prices for food and fuel. The debt service burden and international reserves are expected to remain at comfortable levels. Executive Directors welcomed the authorities’ purpose to review plans for the establishment of a development bank, taking account of the know-how elsewhere so as to avoid creating unfair competition in the financial sector.
This paper analyzes the efforts taken to create fiscal space for the implementation of the fifth national development plan and the risk associated with it, examines the role of monetary policy in determining inflation, and discusses policy options to achieve low inflation. It also identifies areas where reform strategy needs more attention and suggests that reforms of financial system regulation need to be accelerated to ensure stability of the system. It analyzes traditional reserve adequacy measures, and finds looming power crisis as an obstacle to growth.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix on Botswana underlies that diamond reserves are not adequate to generate enough permanent revenue to support the current level of expenditure. Despite strong overall growth, in Botswana, a pattern of dependence on diamond revenue and high unemployment persists. Botswana, as a typical small open economy, is closely linked to a large neighboring economy. This linkage means Botswana’s monetary and exchange policies must consider the external economic environment, particularly the pula’s exchange rate against the rand.
The paper concludes that world copper prices play an important role in short-term fluctuations and probably influence long-term growth of the Chilean economy. While many mechanisms may be at work, investment seems to play a major role. In a copper price boom, the higher copper price and associated capital inflows create upward pressure on the real exchange rate. The appreciation of the Chilean peso during the first part of the copper cycle contributes to lower inflation, which could partly explain why real wages grow more rapidly in this part of the cycle.
This paper focuses on problems of economic policy in terms of targets and instruments. Both the fixed-targets approach and the welfare-economics approach tend to favor a multiplication of policy instruments, the former so as to increase the number of targets that can be attained and the latter so as to permit all objectives to be more closely approximated. It is necessary that policies be centrally coordinated, and in each country, there is a limit to the number of policies that can be successfully coordinated by the political and administrative machine. For this reason, the costs of applying any given policy instrument will depend not only on the degree of its use but also on the number and nature of the instruments already in use. The existence of both kinds of cost, and particularly the latter, will set a limit on the number of policy instruments that can appropriately be brought into operation.