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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Peru entered the pandemic with a sustained track record of implementing very strong policies amid very strong economic fundamentals and institutional policy frameworks, but was hit hard by the pandemic, which took a heavy toll in terms of human lives and economic output. Tensions between executive and legislative powers continue to affect institutional cohesion, but new general elections will be held in April-June 2021. The IMF Executive Board approved a two-year FCL arrangement in the amount of US$11 billion (600 percent of quota) on May 28, 2020.
Mauricio Cardenas, Mr. Luca A Ricci, Mr. Jorge Roldos, and Alejandro M. Werner
The fiscal policy response to the COVID-19 shock in most LAC countries was much larger than during the GFC, suggesting fiscal space was not as tight as expected. We argue that it is feasible and desirable, though not without risks, to embark in a more gradual consolidation path than currently envisaged by several countries in the region. Avoiding an early withdrawal of support in 2021 and 2022 is important given that countries are still facing high rates of contagion and deaths, vaccination will take place very slowly, the economic recovery is partial, uncertain and not strong enough to help those most affected by the twin public health and economic crisis. At the center of this discussion is our conviction that fiscal space is not set in stone and it is endogenous to the medium-term targets and commitments undertaken by governments and congresses throughout the region. Also, revisions to fiscal responsibility frameworks should help anchor fiscal sustainability, as well as improve their effectiveness and flexibility. In this context, low-for-long interest rates and easy market access is generating a situation that, in spite of higher debt levels, interest cost on public debt will remain contained in the foreseeable future. Especially if, as argued in this paper, a more gradual fiscal consolidation path is accompanied with stronger commitments and institutional frameworks that ensure debt is put on a credible downward trajectory once the pandemic is under control. Catalyzing these changes, as well as initiating the debate to design other fiscal reforms to strengthen social protection and increase the progressivity of public finances, would require a broad social consensus and political cohesion around several crucial dimensions of public finances: a fiscal pact. On the other hand, if this agenda is neglected the continuation of low growth, social discontent, and political polarization could drive Latin America towards a very dangerous path of institutional and economic decay.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
While Panama has been the most dynamic economy in Latin America over the last three decades (growing 6 percent on average), its strength is being tested by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Panama is a service-based economy that is highly integrated in the world economy and exposed to extreme shocks during the pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The current FCL arrangement for Colombia was approved in May 2020. Colombia was cited for its very strong policy frameworks—anchored by a flexible exchange rate, a credible inflation-targeting regime, effective financial sector supervision and regulation, and a structural fiscal rule—and a track record of very strong policy implementation that served as a basis for the economy’s resilience prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper highlights Peru’s Request for Arrangement Under the Flexible Credit Line (FCL). Peru qualifies for the FCL by virtue of its very strong fundamentals and institutional policy frameworks and track record of economic performance and policy implementation. The coronavirus disease 2019 shock poses an extraordinary challenge, which is pushing the Peruvian economy into a recession. The authorities have responded decisively by putting in place stringent containment measures and a large policy package to limit the socio-economic fallout, which has been possible thanks to Peru’s ample fiscal space and monetary policy credibility. The package includes a broad set of measures aimed at containing the health emergency, supporting vulnerable businesses and households, and maintaining adequate credit flows to the economy. Nonetheless, and despite its very strong policy buffers, Peru remains vulnerable to external tail risks. A prolonged Covid-19 outbreak would have significant repercussions for trade and financial flows, which could put significant pressure on Peru’s balance of payments and magnify the adverse domestic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 shock.