Despite progress in addressing key fiscal weaknesses in many countries, significant policy challenges remain in advanced, emerging, and low-income economies, and must be faced in an environment where downside risks to growth have increased. Many advanced economies face very large adjustment needs to reduce risks related to high debt ratios. The appropriate pace of adjustment in the short run will depend, for each country, on the intensity of the market pressure it confronts, the magnitude of the risks to growth it faces, and the credibility of its medium-term program. The euro area needs to sustain fiscal consolidation, minimize its growth fallout, and address concerns about the adequacy of crisis resolution mechanisms. In Japan and the United States, sufficiently detailed and ambitious plans to reduce deficits and debts are needed to prevent credibility from weakening. Meanwhile, many emerging economies need to make faster progress in strengthening fiscal fundamentals before cyclical factors or spillovers from advanced economies turn against them. Low-income countries also need to rebuild fiscal buffers, while addressing spending needs.
Moldova showed improved growth prospects and decline in poverty despite a series of consecutive shocks under the economic program. Executive Directors commended the balanced macroeconomic policies and urged to maintain macroeconomic stability. They also appreciated the strong monetary policy by National Bank of Moldova (NBM), disciplined fiscal policies, financial sector stability and consolidation of education and health care networks, and stressed the need to strengthen tax administration while maintaining the deficit target. The need for modernization of energy sector and effective implementation of Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CLT) law were also found to be essential.
The staff report for the 2005 Article IV Consultation on the Philippines highlights managing short-term vulnerabilities and higher investment and growth. Power generation tariffs have been raised to substantially cut the losses of the National Power Corporation (NPC). A risk to the near-term outlook for the Philippine economy is that political events, such as possible constitutional change, serve to sideline economic reforms. Executive Directors agreed that rebalancing the composition of public expenditure, with reduced current outlays providing space for capital and social spending, should form an integral part of the fiscal consolidation.
Quasi-fiscal deficits of public utility companies are common in all member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). They constitute a significant impediment to efficient resource allocation and endanger macroeconomic stability. This paper presents a simple framework for measuring and monitoring such deficits and highlights their macroeconomic relevance. It reviews the progress under IMF conditionality aimed at correcting these imbalances during 1993-2003. The paper suggests that the extensive conditionality under the IMF-supported programs has yielded only limited progress in reducing the energy sector's financial imbalances. In conclusion, different policy options are discussed in light of the lessons learned.
This 2003 Article IV Consultation highlights that Morocco’s growth performance over the last decade has not been strong enough to reduce poverty. Growth has also been volatile because of the impact of recurrent drought conditions on agricultural output. Economic conditions improved in 2002 despite a less favorable international environment, which was marked by a decline in tourism and external demand. Real GDP growth reached 4.5 percent reflecting a further rise in agricultural output and somewhat higher growth in the nonagricultural sectors.
Mr. Saleh M. Nsouli, Mr. Mounir Rached, and Mr. Norbert Funke
This paper reviews the issues involved in determining the appropriate speed of adjustment and the sequencing of economic reforms, focusing on considerations relevant to policymakers. It points out that the debate between the protagonists of a high-speed approach and those favoring a gradualist approach is based primarily on the weights given to adjustment costs, policy credibility, reform feasibility, and risk assessment. It underscores the importance of appropriate sequencing and the impact of sequencing on the speed of adjustment and reforms. The paper concludes by highlighting factors that policymakers should consider when selecting their approach toward speed and sequencing.
This paper reviews the experiences of a few countries in Sub-Saharan Africa that have succeeded in attracting fairly large amounts of foreign investment. The review indicates that sustained efforts to promote political and macroeconomic stability and implement essential structural reforms have been the key elements contributing to the success that certain countries in Africa have achieved in attracting a substantial volume of FDI. Strong leadership, which has helped promote democracy and overcome social and political strife, and a firm commitment to economic reform have been important determinants. The adoption of sound fiscal and monetary policies, supported by an appropriate exchange rate policy, and a proactive approach to removing structural impediments to private sector activity have had a positive bearing on investor sentiment. The analysis underscores the importance of relying on stability and a broad-based reform effort to encourage foreign investment in Africa.