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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with People’s Republic of China—Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) discusses that the economy is projected to start recovering next year, but the pace is expected to be gradual and both near- and medium-term risks have increased significantly, including from trade and technology tensions, ongoing social unrest, and structural challenges of insufficient housing supply and high income inequality. Hong Kong SAR is well placed to address both cyclical and structural challenges with its significant buffers thanks to its long history of prudent macroeconomic policies. Given that the fiscal framework permits deficits during economic downturns, government spending should be increased significantly in the areas of social safety nets, education/retraining, and infrastructure to cope with the cyclical downturn and address structural challenges of insufficient housing and high-income inequality. This should be complemented with measures to ensure fiscal sustainability and greater equity.
Moez Ben Hassine and Mr. Nooman Rebei
We analyze the effects of macroprudential policies through the lens of an estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model tailored to developing markets. In particular, we explicitly introduce informality in the labor and goods markets within a small open economy embedding financial frictions, nominal and real rigidities, labor search and matching, and an explicit banking sector. We use the estimated version of the model to run welfare analysis under optimized monetary and macroprudential rules. Results show that although informality reduces the efficiency of macroprudential policies following a convex fashion, combining the latter with an inflation targeting objective could be beneficial.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This technical note on nonfinancial corporations and households vulnerabilities on France analyzes the structure of nonfinancial corporate financing in the French economy, potential vulnerabilities of the corporate sector, and their possible channels of transmission through interconnections with the financial system. The objective of this paper is to document the evolution of French corporate debt since the global financial crisis, analyze the riskiness of this debt, the quality of allocation of this debt, and uncover potential heterogeneity across sectors and firms which may have implications at the macroeconomic level. This paper also complements existing studies by the Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques, the Haut Conseil de Stabilité Financière and the Banque de France by undertaking a cross-country comparative analysis. Empirical analysis suggests that corporate debt may be allocated efficiently across publicly listed companies, but the picture is less clear among nonpublicly listed firms.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with New Zealand discusses that economic growth picked up in early 2019 after slowing in the second half of 2018. The pickup mostly reflected a rebound in private business investment growth. Residential investment also strengthened, notwithstanding cooling housing markets. Bank lending continued to slow across all sectors, growing now broadly in line with nominal gross domestic product. The recent monetary policy easing fits the subdued inflation conditions and near-term risks to the outlook. Economic growth is only expected to remain close to potential on the back of a timely increase in macroeconomic policy support. The proposed higher capital conservation buffers would provide for a welcome increase in banking system resilience. The new requirements would increase bank capital to levels that are commensurate with the systemic financial risks emanating from the banking system. The new framework should also differentiate more between large and small banks. A stronger bank supervision regime would still be needed, to complement the higher capital requirements.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The Irish economy continues to expand strongly, benefitting from higher net exports by multinational enterprises and robust domestic demand. Accelerating wage growth reflects tight labor market conditions and inflation has started to pick up. Crisis legacies have diminished but some vulnerabilities persist. The outlook remains broadly positive, provided Brexit proceeds in an orderly manner. However, the economy operates near full capacity and an accelerating cyclical momentum could re-ignite a boom-bust dynamic. A no-deal Brexit represents the key downside risk, while escalation in global protectionism and sudden changes in corporate tax planning of multinational enterprises in Ireland could adversely affect the economy and public finances.