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International Monetary Fund

The fiscal crisis in the Kingdom of Swaziland emanating from a decline in revenue from the Southern African Customs Union and one of the largest public wage bills in sub-Saharan Africa has reached a critical stage. Faced with revenue shortfalls associated with slowing economic activity, uncontrolled public spending, and lack of financing, the authorities continued to deplete central bank reserves and accumulate domestic arrears. The authorities have been able to finance only a minimal amount of expenditure, including wages, utilities, and essential transfers.

International Monetary Fund

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) are prepared by the member country in broad consultation with stakeholders and development partners. Despite strong economic performance in recent years compared with Sub-Saharan African and WAEMU countries, Mali’s average annual growth rate of 4.6 percent is below the target of 7 percent provided in the PRSP. At end-2009, the situation in the banking and financial system was characterized by an increase in the money supply, an increase in net foreign assets, an increase in credit to the economy, and a decline in credit to the government.

Adelheid Burgi–Schmelz

'Restoring Hope: Reinvigorating the Millennium Development Goals' assesses how the world is doing in meeting the MDGs--international development targets that all UN member countries and many international organizations have set for 2015. Our lead article, 'Regaining Momentum,' says that while several of the MDGs are within reach, the global economic crisis has set back progress toward a number of the targets, especially those related to health. Developing countries will need the support of advanced economies in to get back on track. Economist Jagdish Bhagwati calls into question the premise of the MDGs and argues that they should be rethought. Philanthropist Melinda Gates gives us the good news that maternal health has been improving, though we are not yet on track to meet the MDG target on maternal mortality. Picture This takes a look at child mortality rates and finds a more sobering picture. In related stories, economists Arvind Panagariya and Rodney Ramcharan have different views on how important it is to fight inequality. This issue also examines the deterioration of fiscal positions in advanced economies--as a result of both the global financial crisis and the long-run health and pension costs of an aging population. 'How Grim a Fiscal Crisis?' argues that consolidation in advanced economies should focus on spending cuts, given the already high tax burdens in many countries. In 'A Hidden Fiscal Crisis,' economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff examines the serious budget issues in the United States. We also look at the expensive needs of a rapidly aging population in France, and steps China is taking to improve pensions and health care. People in Economics profiles Maria Ramos, the academic-turned-Treasury mandarin who had a central role in stabilizing the budget in South Africa. And the 'Back to Basics' feature discusses unemployment.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses key findings of the Fourth Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) for Madagascar. Program performance has been generally good. The authorities have continued to implement sound fiscal and monetary policies that have resulted in good macroeconomic outcomes. They met all of the quantitative performance criteria (PCs) for end-January 2008, but missed two structural PCs. The international reserves cover is expected to deteriorate markedly, prompting the authorities to ask for an augmentation of 15 percent of quota, a request that IMF staff supports.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In the aftermath of the financial crises of the late 1990s in Asia, Latin America, and Russia, it became clear that the traditional supervisory focus on the soundness of individual banks needed to be expanded to include the health of a nation’s entire financial system and the global system as well.

Robert W. Edwards and Mohsin S. Khan

This paper discusses key findings of the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Data Module for Pakistan. Based on the review of Pakistan’s statistical practices, recommendations are made that are aimed at strengthening Pakistan’s adherence to the internationally accepted practices, as well as at enhancing the usefulness of its monetary statistics. For the central bank’s survey, it is recommended to revalue the State Bank of Pakistan’s Fund positions and gold assets on a monthly basis at end-month market exchange rates and market gold prices.

International Monetary Fund

This Report on the Observance of Standards And Codes (ROSC) on data module for Uganda provides an assessment of Uganda’s macroeconomic statistics against the recommendations of the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) complemented by an assessment of data quality based on the IMF’s Data Quality Assessment Framework. This ROSC data module contains the main observations covering four macroeconomic data sets, namely national accounts, the consumer price index (CPI), government finance statistics (GFS), and balance of payments (BOP). It also provides an overview of the dissemination practices compared with the GDDS.