International Monetary Fund. Finance Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper provides background for a further round of discussions on the Fifteenth General Review of Quotas (hereafter 15th Review). The paper builds on work presented in previous staff papers and Directors’ views expressed in three meetings of the Committee of the Whole in September 2017 and February 2018. No proposals are presented at this stage, pending further Board guidance on possible approaches to narrowing the current differences of views.
This 2020 Article IV Consultation discusses that San Marino is now facing very significant challenges owing to the recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, which has taken a heavy toll on local population and businesses. The staff report reflects discussions with the Sammarinese authorities in January 2020 and is based on the information available as of January 31, 2020. It focuses on San Marino’s near- and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before COVID-19 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity, and financial markets. It, therefore, does not reflect the implications of these developments and related policy priorities. The outbreak has greatly amplified uncertainty and downside risks around the outlook. Staff is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to work on assessing its impact and the related policy response in San Marino and globally. With no credible measures to restore banking system health and in the face of a continued weak external environment, economic growth is projected to remain subdued in the coming years. Slow progress in repairing the banking system and failure to restore fiscal sustainability are the key and material risks.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that San Marino’s economy rebounded in 2016, on the back of recovering domestic demand and important gains in employment. However, the growth momentum slowed in 2017 amid financial sector uncertainties around a sizable loss at the largest bank and a closure of a small bank. Only moderate growth is projected in the near and medium term. The economy is projected to grow at 1.3 percent in 2018, driven by domestic demand. Private consumption is expected to recover gradually, and an externally financed investment project will add a significant boost to investment, which otherwise lacks support from the deleveraging banking sector.
Over the last half decade, San Marino’s economy has managed to weather the implosion of its offshore banking model, the global crisis, and Italy’s decision to put San Marino on a tax blacklist. Together, these shocks resulted in a loss of a third of output since 2008, caused banking system NPLs to rise to over 40 percent—with the largest bank requiring 13 percent of GDP in public support—and pushed up net public debt by some 20 percent of GDP (from virtually nil five years ago). Looking forward, the economy is stabilizing, reflecting the inclusion of San Marino in Italy’s tax whitelist, but downside risks persist.
Conventional wisdom postulates that there are benefits from decentralizing government finances but there is little empirical evidence about actual country practices. This paper presents data on fiscal decentralization for about 80 countries over a period of about 20 years (1990-2008) from the IMF’s Government Finance Statistics Yearbook (GFSY), the only global database with fiscal data for several levels of government. The data show that in many countries, revenue collection remains relatively more centralized than expenditures and that employment tends to be concentrated in lower levels of government. Except for transition economies, the levels of decentralization are relatively stable over the time period. The findings are shown by degree of economic development, constitutional power arrangements, and geographic area, broadly confirming key factors identified in the literature as determining the extent of fiscal decentralization.
This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that the global financial crisis, which began to affect the economy of San Marino in the second half of 2008, is likely to continue to do so in 2009–10. Short-term vulnerabilities in the financial sector have risen owing to exposure of the largest bank to a troubled Italian banking group and to liquidity pressures from a tax amnesty adopted by the Italian government. Executive Directors have commended the authorities for strengthening international cooperation in economic and financial matters.