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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that stronger real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is envisaged in the near term, with a recovery in hydrocarbon output. Medium-term growth will be buoyed by increased gas production and non-hydrocarbon growth. Expenditure consolidation would help to sustain fiscal and external surpluses. Ample liquidity will enable credit growth to support non-hydrocarbon GDP. Trade and geopolitical tensions could undermine investor confidence and weaken fiscal and external positions. The policy priorities are fiscal consolidation, strengthened fiscal policy frameworks, enhanced resiliency of the financial sector, financial inclusion, and a diversified economy. The financial sector remains sound, underpinned by strong profitability and capital. Strengthening the regulatory and supervisory frameworks would help to bolster financial stability. Attention to women’s empowerment by introducing legislation emphasizing equality in remuneration and avoiding gender-based discrimination would support inclusive growth.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Norwegian economy is slowly recovering from the oil shock as domestic demand grew stronger aided by accommodative macroeconomic policies. Inflation declined recently owing to the pass-through of krone appreciation, but expectations remain well-anchored. In addition, banks remain profitable and well capitalized. Mainland growth is projected to increase from just below 1 percent in 2016 to 1.75 and 2.25 percent in 2017 and 2018 respectively, supported by the recovery of exports and stronger private demand. Inflation is projected to edge down further in pace with the unwinding of krone depreciation, before converging to the target over the medium term as trading-partner inflation rises.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The paper examines the nature and scale of spillovers to a number of European countries from monetary policies in the euro area and the United States using three different approaches. The analysis focuses on selected non-euro-area countries in Europe: the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, and Sweden. Recent developments in these countries’ sovereign bond yields and exchange rates are indicative of potential spillovers. The paper’s most consistent analytical finding is for spillovers to lower domestic bond yields, with the potential for repercussions on credit expansion and asset prices. More recently, the event study uncovered evidence of upward pressure on the exchange rate.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper describes recent economic developments, outlook, risks, and policy challenges of the Canadian economy. After almost two years, the effects of the oil price shock continue to reverberate through the Canadian economy. Growth has decelerated, but inflation expectations remain well anchored. With the slowdown in growth, the output gap has reopened. Persistently low energy prices pose an important risk to the economy. The banking system remains sound, but exposure to the oil and gas sector will require higher provisions against expected losses. The policy mix over the near-term should cushion the adverse effects of lower oil prices on the economy while safeguarding financial stability.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that decline in oil prices has adversely affected Kuwait’s fiscal and current account balances and slowed growth in 2014–15. Real non-oil GDP growth is projected to slow in 2015 and 2016, and pick up to 4 percent in the medium term, supported by government investment in infrastructure and private investment. The fiscal and external positions are projected to deteriorate further in 2015 and 2016, and improve somewhat over the medium term as oil prices and production recover partially.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Norwegian economy performed well in 2014 despite the sharp fall in oil prices toward the end of the year. Mainland GDP grew at 2.2 percent, with weaker investment demand being offset by stronger government consumption. Unemployment stayed at a low level in 2014, but has recently edged up to 4.5 percent in June 2015 according to the labor force survey. The near-term outlook has weakened owing to lower oil prices. Mainland GDP growth is projected to slow to 1.3 percent in 2015 with weaker private investment and consumption. Looking further ahead, the medium and longer term present challenges of managing a transition away from the oil-dependent growth model.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Qatar is implementing an ambitious diversification strategy, while retaining its systemic role in the global natural gas market. Qatar accounts for one-third of global liquefied natural gas trade and has emerged as an important global financial investor, labor importer, and donor. The authorities are executing a large public infrastructure program to advance economic diversification and prepare for the FIFA 2022 World Cup. The economy has maintained strong growth momentum so far despite the large drop in oil prices since summer 2014. The short-term growth outlook is positive, but lower oil prices will lead to a substantial deterioration of the fiscal and external balances.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
KEY ISSUES Economic outlook: The Canadian economy has expanded at a solid pace since 2013, but rebalancing of growth away from household consumption and residential investment remains incomplete, owing mainly to weak business investment. Growth momentum is expected to continue alongside a strengthening U.S. recovery despite substantially lower oil prices. Risks to the outlook are modestly tilted to the downside given sluggish global growth, effects unfolding from sharply lower oil prices, and housing market risks. Key domestic vulnerabilities in housing markets and the household sector remain elevated but contained fro m a financial stability perspective. Policies for balanced and sustained recovery: An appropriate policy mix should help facilitate rebalancing to generate a broader and more durable recovery, reduce domestic vulnerabilities, and further strengthen financial system resilience: • Macro policies: Monetary policy can remain accommodative for now given that inflation expectations are well-anchored, stronger business investment is still a missing link, risks to an export-led recovery are to the downside, and housing markets are expected to cool as U.S. interest rates rise and with lower oil prices. Fiscal consolidation should proceed in light of longer-term challenges at the provincial level, but federal authorities should consider adopting a neutral stance going forward, using available fiscal resources for targeted measures to support growth. Structural policies to improve productivity in the economy would increasingly need to complement this policy mix. • Housing sector and financial sector policies: Further macro-prudential policy action may be needed to guard against risks to financial stability if household balance sheet vulnerabilities resume rising. Reforms to limit government exposure to housing markets and encourage appropriate risk retention by the private sector should continue. Improving complex coordination across federal and provincial authorities in supervision and stress- testing of depository institutions and strengthening macro-prudential and crisis management frameworks will reinforce the resilience of Canada’s financial system. Policy response to past advice: Since the 2013 Article IV Consultation mission, the authorities have taken some further steps to limit taxpayer exposure to the housing sector and strengthen mortgage insurance underwriting practices. Some work on FSAP recommendations has also started to enhance stress testing, address data gaps, and towards establishing a cooperative capital markets system. The authorities have also intensified their efforts towards addressing interprovincial trade barriers and export diversification.
Mr. John C Bluedorn, Mr. Jörg Decressin, and Mr. Marco Terrones
This paper examines the usefulness of asset prices in predicting recessions in the G-7 countries. It finds that asset price drops are significantly associated with the beginning of a recession in these countries. In particular, the marginal effect of an equity/house price drop on the likelihood of a new recession can be substantial. Equity price drops are, however, larger and are more frequent than house price drops, making them on average more helpful as recession predictors. These findings are robust to the inclusion of the term-spread, uncertainty, and oil prices. Lastly, there is no evidence of significant bias resulting from the rarity of recession starts.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper focuses on Norway’s 2013 Article IV Consultation on economic policies to enhance long-term competitiveness. The success of the oil sector has created new competitiveness challenges. The IMF report states that rapid increases in oil wealth are also adding further pressures on the economy despite sound oil revenue management anchored by a fiscal rule. It also highlights that a slower rate of spending could better align the expected fiscal transfers with the expected long run aging- related costs that peak only after oil production is largely over.