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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on Haiti near and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before coronavirus disease 2019 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. The outbreak has greatly amplified uncertainty and downside risks around the outlook. The IMF staff is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work on assessing its impact and the related policy response in Haiti and globally. Income inequality can hamper economic growth and development. Currently, the financial needs of the rural poor are sustained by microfinance institutions, financial cooperatives, humanitarian programs, and remittance providers. Greater financial inclusion could also be reached via solutions outside of traditional banking practices, including through fintech initiatives. In addition to being a moral imperative, addressing gender inequality is necessary for generating broad-based and inclusive growth. Formal employment opportunities for women need to be expanded. A good start would be to implement the 30 percent quota reserved for women in public-sector appointments, which was introduced in 2012 but never enforced.
Mr. Paolo Mauro and Jing Zhou
Contrary to the traditional assumption of interest rates on government debt exceeding economic growth, negative interest-growth differentials have become prevalent since the global financial crisis. As these differentials are a key determinant of public debt dynamics, can we sleep more soundly, despite high government debts? Our paper undertakes an empirical analysis of interestgrowth differentials, using the largest historical database on average effective government borrowing costs for 55 countries over up to 200 years. We document that negative differentials have occurred more often than not, in both advanced and emerging economies, and have often persisted for long historical stretches. Moreover, differentials are no higher prior to sovereign defaults than in normal times. Marginal (rather than average) government borrowing costs often rise abruptly and sharply, but just prior to default. Based on these results, our answer is: not really.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with the Dominican Republic discusses that the economy rebounded to a record high growth of 7 percent in 2018, with the positive momentum carrying into early 2019. The strong economic and policy performance has strengthened resilience to downside risks, but vulnerabilities remain. The fiscal position is under moderate sustainability and affordability pressures; key structural bottlenecks have not been addressed; and social outcomes can be further strengthened. Upcoming elections in 2020 are likely to dominate the near-term policy landscape. The outlook is favorable, with growth moderating to potential, inflation picking up toward target with fading supply shocks, and the external position normalizing. Risks are moderate and balanced: on the upside, solid income and credit growth could sustain domestic demand, while on the downside external risks are building up. Tighter fiscal policies are warranted by demand, sustainability and affordability considerations. A frontloaded adjustment, anchored on widening the tax base and mindful of the distributional effects of the adjustment measures, would help reverse the upward debt dynamics.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that after three years of robust expansion, the economy of the Dominican Republic moderated to close to its potential level. Economic activity is estimated to have expanded by 4.6 percent in 2017, following above-potential growth of 7.1 percent on average during 2014–16. The growth moderation was concentrated in the first three quarters of 2017. The economic outlook remains positive. The monetary easing in mid-2017 is expected to support a continued recovery in economic activity in 2018. Lower lending rates and stronger credit growth following the easing, combined with higher real wages and employment, are expected to continue to support domestic demand.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission regarding the balance of payments, international investment position, and secondary income statistics in El Salvador. The mission reviewed progress made on the recommendations for the Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS). Although El Salvador is currently reporting data to the CDIS, there are some topics that need improvement, particularly the positions of the shareholders of the three most important financial groups and their subsidiaries to avoid duplicate entries. The mission agreed with the authorities regarding the monitoring of processing payment vouchers sent to the Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador by banks and other entities paying remittances for amounts exceeding the threshold of US$500 to complete the personal transfers’ estimates.