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Ms. Daria V Zakharova and Ms. Charleen A Gust
Though many aspects of Russia's fiscal policy framework are close to best practice on paper, actual practice in recent years has been moving away from best practice. In particular, the continued focus on the overall rather than the nonoil balance, and the regular use of supplemental budgets to spend windfall oil revenues contribute to procylicality of fiscal policy, risking costly boom-bust cycles. Against this background, this paper suggests several improvements to the framework for fiscal policy.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents a detailed analysis of the average fiscal policy responses of oil producing countries (OPCs) to the recent oil price cycle. We find that OPCs worsened their non-oil primary balances substantially during 2003-2008 driven by an increase in primary spending. However, this trend was partially reversed when oil prices went down in 2009. We also find evidence that fiscal policy has been procyclical and has hence exacerbated the fluctuations in economic activity. In addition, we estimate that a small reduction in oil prices could lead to very large financing needs in the near future. Finally, we show that long-term fiscal sustainability positions in OPCs have worsened.
Mr. Paulo A Medas and Ms. Daria V Zakharova
This paper proposes an integrated approach to fiscal policy analysis in oil producing countries (OPCs) geared towards addressing their unique and complex policy challenges. First, an accurate assessment of the fiscal stance in OPCs can be obscured by large and volatile oil revenue flows. Second, uncertain and volatile oil revenue flows can complicate the management of macroeconomic policies in these countries. Third, given the exhaustibility of oil reserves, OPCs need to address longer-term sustainability and intergenerational equity issues. The use of non-oil fiscal indicators, stress tests, medium-term frameworks, and permanent oil income models can greatly aid in addressing these challenges.
International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the Fourth Review on Nigeria highlights developments under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI). Robust non-oil sector growth significantly strengthened fiscal and external positions, reducing inflation that surpassed the original program goals. Fiscal risks have increased in the short term because recent practices on the use of an oil price rule and oil savings, which have been important to macroeconomic performance, are being revisited. The government’s consensual approach within the framework of the constitution offers the prospect of a lasting solution.
International Monetary Fund
This 2006 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic performance of Benin has been relatively subdued since 2003 after a decade of high growth. Slow economic growth has reflected limited progress in addressing core economic vulnerabilities and delays in implementing crucial growth-supporting structural reforms, against a backdrop of an appreciating real effective exchange rate and, more recently, a sizable deterioration in the terms of trade. Notwithstanding further delays in structural reforms, a turnaround in cotton production is helping to revive growth in 2006.
International Monetary Fund
This First Review Under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI) for Nigeria reports that structural reforms are proceeding in line with the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy. The authorities’ commitments under the PSI primary objectives of the economic reform program include entrenching macroeconomic stability, strengthening public financial management, and reducing the costs of doing business. The Central Bank of Nigeria has developed plans to invest some of its international reserves in higher yield financial assets, and allow domestic banks to bid to be custodians for the investments.
International Monetary Fund
This Ex Post Assessment reviews Benin’s progress in implementing economic policies and reforms supported by the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF) and Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangements since 1993, and draws lessons for a possible successor arrangement. The paper briefly presents developments prior to these arrangements, including the comprehensive stabilization and liberalization of the economy starting in 1989. It also reviews the performance under the three arrangements during 1993–2003. It also discusses the role that the IMF could play in helping the authorities meet various challenges.
Mr. Dhaneshwar Ghura
An analysis of data for 39 sub-Saharan African countries during 1985–96 indicates that the variations in tax revenue-GDP ratios within this group are influenced by economic policies and the level of corruption. Namely, these ratios rise with declining inflation, implementation of structural reforms, rising human capital (a proxy for the provision of public services by the government), and declining corruption. The paper confirms that the tax revenue ratio rises with income, and that elements of a country’s tax base (such as the share of agriculture in GDP and the degree of openness) influence tax revenue.