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International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department, International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., and International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
To help support members faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fund temporarily increased certain access limits to its emergency financing (EF) instruments, i.e., Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). While this expanded support has been critical to help countries manage the pandemic, the increase in access limits was not applied to the Large Natural Disasters (LND) windows within the EF toolkit, reducing the flexibility to respond to such LNDs. This paper proposes to temporarily increase by 50 percent of quota the annual access limit (AAL) and cumulative access limit (CAL) under the LND windows of the RCF and RFI. The changes to the “LND windows” would be in effect through end-December 2021, in line with the other temporary changes of access limits under EF instruments. The case for further extensions to all the temporarily increased EF AALs and CALs will be examined after the 2021 Annual Meetings.
International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for an initial discussion under the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (15th Review) in line with the work plan agreed by the Executive Board. It discusses issues related to further reforms of the quota formula and realigning quota shares, based on updated quota data through 2015. A companion paper, to be discussed separately, will address issues related to the size of the Fund and mix of quota and borrowed resources. Both these papers seek to facilitate initial discussions on some of the key issues for the 15th Review. No proposals are made at this stage, recognizing that further deliberations will be needed before the issues under discussion can begin to be narrowed down.
International Monetary Fund
This paper proposes that the Executive Board determine that the global COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a Qualifying Public Health Disaster (QPHD) under the Catastrophe Containment (CC) Window of the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), in line with the new QPHD test approved by the Board on March 26. The CCRT has sufficient financial resources for an initial tranche of grant assistance for debt service relief covering eligible debt falling due from all CCRT-eligible members through October 13, 2020. Fundraising efforts continue to secure the financial resources needed to commit future such tranches for CCRT debt service relief, up to a cap of two years. Staff considers that the 25 members requesting CCRT assistance qualify for immediate CCRT relief.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The macroeconomic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa continues to strengthen. Growth is expected to increase from 2.7 percent in 2017 to 3.1 percent in 2018, reflecting domestic policy adjustments and a supportive external environment, including continued steady growth in the global economy, higher commodity prices, and accommodative external financing conditions. Inflation is abating; and fiscal imbalances are being contained in many countries. Over the medium term, and on current policies, growth is expected to accelerate to about 4 percent, too low to create the number of jobs needed to absorb anticipated new entrants into labor markets.

Mr. Yehenew Endegnanew, Ms. Therese Turner-Jones, and Charles Amo Yartey
This paper examines the empirical link between fiscal policy and the current account focusing on microstates defined as countries with a population of less than 2 million between 1970 and 2009. The paper employs panel regression and panel vector autoregression (VAR) on 155 countries of which 42 are microstates. Panel regression results show that a percentage point improvement in the fiscal balance improves the current account balance by 0.4 percentage points of GDP. The real effective exchange rate has no significant impact on the current account in microstates but the coefficient is significant in the global sample. Panel VAR results show that an increase in government consumption results in real exchange appreciation but the effect on the current account after an initial deterioration dies out quicker in microstates than in the global sample. The result implies that fiscal policy has little effect on the current account in microstates beyond its direct impact on imports. Overall, the results suggest that the weak relative price effects make the effect of fiscal adjustment on the current account much more difficult in microstates.
International Monetary Fund
Although the impact of the global crisis has been severe, real per capita GDP growth stayed positive in two-thirds of low-income countries (LICs), unlike in previous global downturns, and in contrast to richer countries. Emerging from the Global Crisis explores how LICS have coped with the global economic crisis. It reviews the impact of the crisis on LICs, domestic policy responses to the crisis, and the precrisis conditions of select countries. The prospects and challenges that LICs face are also considered. Sections of the paper look at growth prospects, policy recommendations, the general macroeconomic outlook, as well as the rebuilding of fiscal buffers. The authors also "stress-test" LICs' exposure to further volatility by using a hypothetical "downside" recovery scenario.
Ms. Stefania Fabrizio
This forthcoming title in the Departmental Paper Series describes the special challenges facing low-income countries as economic growth contracts by an estimated 1.1 percent globally. Coping with the Crisis: Challenges Facing Low-Income Countries provides an assessment of the implications of the financial crisis for low-income countries, evaluates the short-term macroeconomic outlook for these countries, and discusses the policy challenges they face. Chapters cover the outlook for global economic growth and commodity prices, an overview of how low-income countries have been affected, fiscal policy, monetary and exchange rate policy responses, potential external financing needs and how the international community, including the IMF, can help countries meet them. The challenges ahead for low-income countries are delineated, including debt vulnerabilities and the need for countries to develop well-regulated local capital markets and banking systems, as well as enhanced public sector efficiency.