While macroeconomic policies in recent years have succeeded in restoring
elements of macroeconomic stability under difficult circumstances, macroeconomic
conditions are nonetheless precarious. The recent fall in commodity prices, new spending
initiatives, and looser spending oversight during the political transition period have led to a
weaker fiscal position mostly financed by the central bank. In that context, international
reserves have fallen to critically low levels (one week of import coverage). Balance of
payments needs remain both urgent and protracted.
This paper discusses The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Staff-Monitored Program and Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. The economic environment remains challenging and vulnerable to shocks. Real gross domestic product growth is projected to decelerate to 4.5 percent in 2019 from 5.8 percent in 2018. The recent fall in commodity prices, new spending initiatives, and looser spending oversight during the political transition period have led to a weaker fiscal position mostly financed by the central bank. In this context, international reserves have fallen to critically low levels creating urgent balance of payment needs. The new government is committed to implementing measures and reforms that would strengthen macroeconomic stability, reinforce international reserves, address issues related to poor governance, a difficult business environment, and pervasive poverty. Authorities also intend to boost domestic revenue by restoring the functioning of the value-added tax and enforcing the personal income tax, while improving mining revenue forecasting. In addition, the government intends to introduce strict spending caps, increase the effectiveness of monetary policy, and foster inclusive growth and private sector development including through infrastructure projects and free basic education.
This paper reviews the Fund’s income position for FY 2019 and FY 2020. The paper updates projections provided in April 2018 and proposes decisions for the current year. The paper includes a comprehensive review of the Fund’s income position as required under Rule I-6(4). No change is proposed in the margin for the rate of charge that was established under this rule in April 2018 for the period FY 2019–20.
Reserves have a central place in the policy tool kit of most economies, providing insurance against shocks. In conjunction with sound policies, they can help reduce the likelihood of balance of payment crises and preserve economic and financial stability. Reserves, however, can result from both precautionary and non-precautionary policy objectives and institutional settings. While they can bring several important benefits, reserve holdings can sometimes be costly.
This paper brings together recent Fund work on reserve adequacy issues aiming to strengthen their discussion in bilateral surveillance. Despite the ongoing debate on reserve issues, there is little consensus about how to assess reserve holdings in different economies, even though this is an important aspect of a member’s external stability assessment. The work stream of which this paper is part aims to fill this gap by outlining a framework for discussing reserve adequacy issues in different economies. In this regard, the paper also forms part of the Fund’s response to the 2012 IEO evaluation of the Fund’s advice related to international reserves, which recommended, inter alia, that assessments of international reserves in bilateral surveillance reports should be more detailed and reflect country circumstances. To this end, the paper proposes that, where warranted, individual country Article IV reports include a fuller discussion of the authorities’ stated objectives (precautionary and non-precautionary) for holding reserves, an assessment of the reserve needs for precautionary purposes, and a discussion of the cost of reserves. The aim would be to ensure evenhandedness so that countries with similar circumstances are assessed in similar ways, while allowing the depth and emphasis of this discussion to vary depending on country conditions and needs
Mr. Valerio Crispolti, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Jun I Kim, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, and Mr. George C. Tsibouris
Low-income countries routinely experience exogenous disturbances—sharp swings in the terms of trade, export demand, natural disasters, and volatile financial flows—that contribute to higher volatility in aggregate output and consumption compared with other countries. Assessing Reserve Adequacy in Low-Income Countries presents the findings of an analysis of a range of external shocks faced by these countries, beginning with a discussion of the impact of external shocks on macroeconomic growth, volatility, and welfare. Although sound macroeconomic and prudential policy frameworks are the first line of defense for limiting vulnerability, international reserves constitute the main form of self-insurance against such shocks. The evidence suggests that low-income countries with reserve coverage above three months of imports were better able to smooth consumption and absorption in the face of external shocks compared with those with lower reserve holdings. The analysis also points to the importance of country characteristics and vulnerabilities in assessing reserve adequacy.
This paper looks at the question of adequacy of reserves in sub-Saharan African countries in light of the shocks faced by these countries. Literature on optimal reserves so far has not paid attention to the particular shocks facing low-income countries. We use a two-good endowment economy model facing terms of trade and aid shocks to derive the optimal level of reserves by comparing the cost of holding reserves with their benefits as an insurance against a shock. We find that the optimal level of reserves depends upon the size of these shocks, their probability, and the output cost associated with them,
This paper argues that as part of their fiscal optimization strategies CEMAC countries should be given the opportunity to invest into longer-term assets that generate market-based returns. The BEAC has created a framework of longer-term savings funds but due to low remuneration and other factors usage has remained limited. The paper also argues that regional savings in the form of reserve accumulation must be sufficient to ensure the stability of the common currency. While the current level of common foreign reserves may now be appropriate, maintaining an adequate level calls for a link between country-specific savings decisions and the setting of a regional reserve target. Strengthening and diversifying reserve management will also be desirable, a process the BEAC has embarked upon.
This pamphlet describes the financial structure and operations of the IMF, as well as the sources of IMF financing, the policies associated with the use of IMF resources, the role of the IMF as trustee to various accounts that are administered by it, and the safeguards established for protecting the IMF's resources. Published in 1990. Extensively revised in 2001 (sixth edition).
Cette brochure décrit l'organisation et les opérations financières du FMI, ainsi que les sources de financement du FMI, les politiques associées à l'utilisation des ressources du FMI, le rôle du FMI en tant que mandataire pour les différents comptes qu'il gère, et les garde-fous établis pour protéger les ressources du FMI. Document publié en 1990. Revu en profondeur en 2001 (sixième édition).
En este folleto se describen la estructura y las operaciones financieras del FMI, así como las fuentes del financiamiento del FMI, las políticas relacionadas con el uso de los recursos del FMI, y el papel de la institución como fideicomisario de diversas cuentas que administra y las salvaguardias establecidas para proteger los recursos del FMI. Publicado en 1990. Revisado extensamente en 2001 (sexta edición).