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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
While Norway’s institutional arrangement for macroprudential policy is uncommon, the authorities have shown strong willingness to act. The Ministry of Finance (MoF) is the sole macroprudential decision-maker in Norway, which is rare in international comparison. However, Norges Bank and the Finanstilsynet (FSA) play important advisory roles. In recent years, the authorities have taken substantive and wide-ranging macroprudential policy actions in response to growing systemic vulnerabilities—and these seem to have been effective in slowing down some of the riskier trends. The macroprudential policy toolkit is well stocked and actively used.
Mr. Marco Arena, Tingyun Chen, Mr. Seung M Choi, Ms. Nan Geng, Cheikh A. Gueye, Mr. Tonny Lybek, Mr. Evan Papageorgiou, and Yuanyan Sophia Zhang
Macroprudential policy in Europe aligns with the objective of limiting systemic risk, namely the risk of widespread disruption to the provision of financial services that is caused by an impairment of all or parts of the financial system and that can cause serious negative consequences for the real economy.
Mr. Ales Bulir and Mr. Jan Vlcek
Does monetary policy react systematically to macroeconomic innovations? In a sample of 16 countries – operating under various monetary regimes – we find that monetary policy decisions, as expressed in yield curve movements, do react to macroeconomic innovations and these reactions reflect the monetary policy regime. While we find evidence of the primacy of the price stability objective in the inflation targeting countries, links to inflation and the output gap are generally weaker and less systematic in money-targeting and multiple-objective countries.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

Economic activity continued to expand in the first half of 2018, albeit at a slower-than-expected pace, mainly in advanced Europe. Domestic demand, supported by stronger employment and wages, remains the main engine of growth. However, the external environment has become less supportive and is expected to soften further in 2019 owing to slowing global demand, trade tensions, and higher energy prices. Tighter financial conditions in vulnerable emerging market economies and maturing business cycles are also weighing on activity. Accordingly, growth is projected to moderate from 2.8 percent in 2017 to 2.3 percent in 2018 and 1.9 percent in 2019. That said, it is expected to remain above potential in most countries in the region.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes key features of corporate taxation in Switzerland. The Swiss corporate tax system includes many aspects of a territorial regime; is highly attractive for multinational companies; and collects non-negligible revenues, but the status quo is not sustainable. The proposed reform would eliminate differences in the tax treatment of foreign and Swiss sourced income. Further, cantons are expected to lower their corporate income tax (CIT) rates, bringing the combined (municipal, cantonal, and federal) tax rate (averaged across cantons) to about 13.9 percent. Costs of lowering the CIT rates would be unequally distributed across cantons, and would be costlier for cantons with a large immobile CIT base.
Leandro Medina and Mr. Friedrich Schneider
We undertake an extended discussion of the latest developments about the existing and new estimation methods of the shadow economy. New results on the shadow economy for 158 countries all over the world are presented over 1991 to 2015. Strengths and weaknesses of these methods are assessed and a critical comparison and evaluation of the methods is carried out. The average size of the shadow economy of the 158 countries over 1991 to 2015 is 31.9 percent. The largest ones are Zimbabwe with 60.6 percent, and Bolivia with 62.3 percent of GDP. The lowest ones are Austria with 8.9 percent, and Switzerland with 7.2 percent. The new methods, especially the new macro method, Currency Demand Approach (CDA) and Multiple Indicators Multiple Causes (MIMIC) in a structured hybrid-model based estimation procedure, are promising approaches from an econometric standpoint, alongside some new micro estimates. These estimations come quite close to others used by statistical offices or based on surveys.
Uwe Böwer
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in Emerging Europe’s economies, notably in the energy and transport sectors. Based on a new firm-level dataset, this paper reviews the SOE landscape, assesses SOE performance across countries and vis-à-vis private firms, and evaluates recent SOE governance reform experience in 11 Emerging European countries, as well as Sweden as a benchmark. Profitability and efficiency of resource allocation of SOEs lag those of private firms in most sectors, with substantial cross-country variation. Poor SOE performance raises three main risks: large and risky contingent liabilities could stretch public finances; sizeable state ownership of banks coupled with poor governance could threaten financial stability; and negative productivity spillovers could affect the economy at large. SOE governance frameworks are partly weak and should be strengthened along three lines: fleshing out a consistent ownership policy; giving teeth to financial oversight; and making SOE boards more professional.
Mr. Heedon Kang, Mr. Francis Vitek, Ms. Rina Bhattacharya, Mr. Phakawa Jeasakul, Ms. Sònia Muñoz, Naixi Wang, and Rasool Zandvakil
This paper analyzes cross-border macrofinancial spillovers from a variety of macroprudential policy measures, using a range of quantitative methods. Event study and panel regression analyses find that liquidity and sectoral macroprudential policy measures often affect cross-border bank credit, whereas capital measures do not. This empirical evidence is stronger for tightening than for loosening measures, is distributed across credit leakage and reallocation effects, and is generally regionally concentrated. Consistently, structural model based simulation analysis indicates that output and bank credit spillovers from sectoral macroprudential policy shocks are generally small worldwide, but are regionally concentrated and economically significant for countries connected by strong trade or financial linkages. This simulation analysis also indicates that countercyclical capital buffer adjustments have the potential to generate sizeable regional spillovers.