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  • Palau, Republic of x
  • Fiscal policy x
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Ali Alichi, Mr. Ippei Shibata, and Kadir Tanyeri
Government debt in many small states has risen beyond sustainable levels and some governments are considering fiscal consolidation. This paper estimates fiscal policy multipliers for small states using two distinct models: an empirical forecast error model with data from 23 small states across the world; and a Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) model calibrated to a hypothetical small state’s economy. The results suggest that fiscal policy using government current primary spending is ineffective, but using government investment is very potent in small states in affecting the level of their GDP over the medium term. These results are robust to different model specifications and characteristics of small states. Inability to affect GDP using current primary spending could be frustrating for policymakers when an expansionary policy is needed, but encouraging at the current juncture when many governments are considering fiscal consolidation. For the short term, however, multipliers for government current primary spending are larger and affected by imports as share of GDP, level of government debt, and position of the economy in the business cycle, among other factors.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Article IV Consultation discussions with the Republic of Palau focused on ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability, making potential growth more resilient and sustainable, and preserving financial stability and facilitating credit extension. The consultation discussions also highlight that the main economic policy priorities for Palau are to develop a medium-term fiscal framework and strategy to help manage fiscal risks and the expiration of the Compact grants, to raise public investment, to protect social spending, to make growth more resilient and sustainable through other reforms, and to preserve financial stability and integrity. The current fiscal policy approach is based on the legal requirement to maintain a balanced or surplus cash flow for various parts of the budget. While this fiscal policy strategy has resulted in overall budget surpluses and a decline in net debt, the move to a medium-term fiscal framework and strategy would help Palau to address future challenges.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Palau’s economy has performed well in recent years. The economy grew strongly in FY2015 (ending September 30, 2015) at 9.4 percent, with tourist arrivals and construction activity expanding by 35 percent. However, the rapid rise in tourism activity strained infrastructure and was tilted toward low budget tourists, which led the authorities to limit the number of charter flights in FY2016. The outlook for Palau is also favorable. Economic growth is expected to slow temporarily to zero in FY2016 as tourist arrivals decline, but to rebound to 5 percent in FY2017 as tourism activity recovers with the entry of new hotels and construction picks up.
Ms. Shari Boyce, Mr. Sergei Dodzin, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Fazurin Jamaludin, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Ms. Rosanne Heller

Abstract

This issue of the Asia & Pacific Small States Monitor focuses on the challenges facing Asia and Pacific small states associated with natural disasters and climate change. Most tourism-oriented economies experienced a robust increase in arrivals, partly reflecting country-specific factors. Among commodity exporters (Bhutan, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste) and other Asia and Pacific small states, growth remains uneven: robust activity in Bhutan was driven mainly by hydropower-related construction activities; Solomon Islands experienced a continuing decline of logging stocks and a short-term disruption of gold production; and Timor-Leste’s ongoing depletion of oil reserves has led to a tighter budget constraint and lower government spending in the non-oil sector.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that after two years of strong expansion, growth is estimated at about zero percent in the fiscal year 2013 (FY2013, ending in September) in the Republic of Palau owing to declines in construction and tourism. Inflation moderated to 2¾ percent (annual average) in FY2013 thanks to stable international food and fuel prices, and it is expected to stay at about 3 percent in FY2014. Growth is projected to increase to 1¾ percent in FY2014 and to 2¼–2½ percent over the medium term driven by the recovery in tourism and infrastructure developments.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper describes Palau’s fiscal challenges and policy options to achieve long-term fiscal sustainability. Palau relies heavily on compact grants, and without continued fiscal consolidation over the medium term, the fiscal position will become unsustainable after these grants expire in FY2024. The fiscal sustainability analysis uses an intertemporal budget constraint model to show that reducing the current deficit excluding grants by about 8 percentage points of GDP during FY2014–19 would ensure Palau’s long-term fiscal sustainability. The paper also discusses the role of tourism in Palau and identifies policy priorities to further promote this sector and sustain growth.
International Monetary Fund
This 2012 Article IV Consultation reports that Palau’s growth is expected to be favorable at 3 percent in FY2012 and to average 2 percent over the medium term. The outlook is clouded by an unsettled global environment, and downside risks dominate. Highly dependent on tourism, imports of food and fuel, and foreign aid, Palau remains vulnerable to external headwinds and has limited policy space to counter these risks. The authorities have made commendable efforts to reduce the current fiscal deficit markedly during FY2010–11, but the deficit remains sizable.
International Monetary Fund
The economy has recovered following the stabilization of commodity and food prices. The Article IV discussions focused on policies to secure a sustained recovery and achieve long-term economic and fiscal sustainability. The recovery will likely remain weak, and the consolidated fiscal surplus is expected to decline in the near term. Long-term sustainability could be achieved through increasing the fiscal surplus. The reliability, coverage, and timeliness of economic statistics need to be improved to guide policies. The global crisis has increased the urgency of major fiscal and structural reforms.
International Monetary Fund
The key findings of the Republic of Palau’s 2010 Article IV Consultation shows that the single most important issue in Palau remains fiscal policy, including its effect on medium-term growth, as fiscal consolidation proceeds. The global financial crisis followed on the heels of a massive terms-of-trade shock, leading to a sharp curtailment of foreign direct investment and private credit. Tourism tumbled following an airline bankruptcy, and construction activity fell as major infrastructure projects reached completion.
International Monetary Fund
Over the past two years, economic activity in Palau has been slowed. Executive Directors welcomed the authorities’ disciplined policies, strong financial sector legislation, and prudent management of foreign grants. They encouraged the authorities to build a strong fiscal consolidation and improve the business environment. Directors applauded the authorities’ strong efforts to reduce expenditure. They stressed the need for strengthening tax administration and commended the well regulated financial sector, and encouraged the authorities to improve the coverage, reliability, and timeliness of key economic statistics.