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International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) on the Republic of Croatia highlights fiscal policy and monetary and financial sector policies. The policy implementation under this SBA has yielded sizable fiscal consolidation and advances in structural reforms, despite some snags. The authorities have taken a number of measures to discourage external borrowing, address foreign currency-related credit risk, and strengthen supervision. The health reform aims at improving the financial situation in the sector and rationalizing public spending on health.
International Monetary Fund
The government’s strong monetary and fiscal policy framework, as well as the structural reforms introduced, have enabled the Canadian economy to respond flexibly to recent shocks and laid a solid foundation for recovery. Macroeconomic policies should remain supportive, with fiscal policy continuing to focus on sustained debt reduction and structural reforms geared toward boosting productivity. Canada’s commitment to exchange rate flexibility has been helpful in facilitating the adjustment of global macroeconomic imbalances. Ensuring that regulatory and other policies support productivity, growth remains a key long-term challenge.
International Monetary Fund
This 2003 Article IV Consultation highlights that Canada’s strong policy framework has brought impressive economic results, and the Canadian economy has proven exceptionally resilient in the face of the recent global downturn. Economic activity slowed relatively modestly in 2001, with only one quarter of output decline recorded, and growth recovered strongly thereafter, averaging 4 percent over the subsequent four quarters. Household consumption and residential investment have remained robust. Household and business demand was supported by sustained productivity growth, rapid growth of employment and labor incomes, and gains in real estate prices.
International Monetary Fund
This paper assesses key aspects of Bulgaria’s competitiveness. The behavior of a variety of a real exchange rate indicators and export performance is also examined in this study. The Balassa–Samuelson effect refers to the impact of differential productivity growth rates in the tradables and nontradables sectors on the real exchange rate. The following statistical data are also included in detail: total and private agricultural production, income accounts, labor force, employment and unemployment, monetary survey, foreign assets of the banking system, and so on.
Mrs. Ritha S. Khemani, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Calvin A McDonald, Mr. Louis Dicks-Mireaux, and Marijn Verhoeven

Abstract

As part of its mandate, the IMF seeks to create the conditions necessary for sustained high-quality growth, which encompasses a broad range of elements. These include sound macroeconomic policies, growth-enhancing structural reforms, good governance, and such social policies as cost-effective social safety nets and targeted social expenditures. This paper reviews the IMF's policy advice in two key areas of social policy: social safety nets and public spending on education and health care. It was initiated as part of the work by the World Bank and IMF to strengthen the poverty focus of adjustment programs in low-income countries, in particular within the framework of the Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs).

International Monetary Fund
The paper assesses key aspects of Bulgaria's competitiveness. The challenge is to stay on course and persist with policies that will maintain and strengthen competitiveness. Implementation of the ambitious reform policy with respect to the pension and health care systems is required. The reasons for and implications of low bank credit to the private sector in Bulgaria, and measures to facilitate prudent credit growth are discussed. The statistical data on the economic indices of Bulgaria are also presented in the paper.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on Hungary describes the main factors behind the evolution of output in Hungary since 1990, and examines Hungary’s future growth prospects with specific focus on the role that structural and macroeconomic policies can play in enhancing those prospects. In this paper, the shortfall in growth relative to the other advanced transition economies is attributed to relatively slow progress with macroeconomic stabilization, stalled structural reform between 1993 and mid-1995, and specific features in the design of Hungary’s reform program. The paper also analyzes debt dynamics in Hungary.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper reviews developments in health care spending in France and discusses the recent measures to improve the functioning of the system and contain costs. It argues that by addressing many of the issues that had bedeviled past reforms, the new measures offer a reasonable hope of containing France’s health expenditures. The paper presents a brief review of the institutional background and of past trends in health care spending and also offers an analysis of the major forces behind the recent and projected growth in expenditure.