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Mr. Andrew Baer, Mr. Kwangwon Lee, and James Tebrake
Digitalization and the innovative use of digital technologies is changing the way we work, learn, communicate, buy and sell products. One emerging digital technology of growing importance is cloud computing. More and more businesses, governments and households are purchasing hardware and software services from a small number of large cloud computing providers. This change is having an impact on how macroeconomic data are compiled and how they are interpreted by users. Specifically, this is changing the information and communication technology (ICT) investment pattern from one where ICT investment was diversified across many industries to a more concentrated investment pattern. Additionally, this is having an impact on cross-border flows of commercial services since the cloud service provider does not need to be located in the same economic territory as the purchaser of cloud services. This paper will outline some of the methodological and compilation challenges facing statisticians and analysts, provide some tools that can be used to overcome these challenges and highlight some of the implications these changes are having on the way users of national accounts data look at investment and trade in commercial services.
International Monetary Fund
The Global Financial Safety Net (GFSN) has expanded considerably since 2008, including in the non-traditional elements of the safety net such as Regional Financing Arrangements (RFAs). The resulting multi-layered structure of the GFSN makes collaboration between its various elements more important than in the past. Specifically, stronger collaboration between the Fund and RFAs would help increase the effective firepower of the GFSN and ensure a timely deployment of resources. The Fund’s experience in macroeconomic adjustment and its universal risk pooling would combine with the greater regional knowledge and country ownership brought the RFA. In this way, improved collaboration between the Fund and RFAs, including in co-financing, would significantly reduce the risk of contagion by encouraging countries to seek early assistance from the Fund. This paper is part of a broader set of proposals to fortify the GFSN (IMF, 2017b, c, d). It proposes both modalities for collaboration—across capacity development, surveillance, and lending—and some operational principles to help guide future co-lending between the Fund and the various RFAs. To date, the only operational guidance to facilitate collaboration has been limited to the high-level 2011 G20 Principles for Cooperation between the IMF and RFAs. Building on several case studies and the principles derived from them, this paper proposes an operational framework for future engagement. It aims to start a more structured dialogue between the Fund and individual RFAs on the modalities of how best to work together.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Ireland’ continued position among the euro area’s top growth performers. Real GDP expanded by 5.2 percent in 2016, supported by a healthy expansion of private consumption and buoyant investment, including construction. Strong broad-based job creation brought unemployment down to 6.4 percent in May, its lowest level in a decade, while inflation remained low as the recent pickup in energy prices and upward pressure from services were partly offset by the impact of weakness in the British pound. The outlook remains positive, but with substantial, mainly externally driven, downside risks. Real GDP is projected to grow at 3.9 percent in 2017, propelled by strong domestic demand.
International Monetary Fund
This report describes recent follow-up on past Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) evaluations, summarizes the update of the 2006 evaluation of multilateral surveillance, and outlines the ongoing evaluations. It raises the concern that progress in implementing Board-endorsed IEO recommendations has been quite mixed, suggesting the need for further consideration to reinforcing the follow-up process.
International Monetary Fund
This report summarizes the outcome of the IEO’s evaluation of The IMF and the Crises in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, discussed by the Executive Board on July 19, 2016, and reports on recent follow-up and ongoing IEO work.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines implications of capital account liberalization in Iceland. Capital controls were critical in 2008 to avoid a more severe collapse of the Icelandic economy. Six years later, capital inflows have been liberalized, but most outflows remain restricted. Iceland has used the breathing room to reduce flow and stock vulnerabilities, strengthen institutions, and prepare for the lifting of capital controls. Simulations using the central bank’s Quarterly Macroeconomic Model (QMM) suggest that, compared with the 2008 crisis episode, the economy can better withstand the impact of an abrupt removal of capital controls. However, the outcome would be dependent on a number of factors, including resident depositor behavior.
International Monetary Fund
Irish policymakers have gained significant credibility, through assertive steps, to deal with the most potent sources of vulnerability. A continuation of vigorous policy efforts is required with an emphasis on risk management. Much progress has been made on the financial stability agenda, but a special bank resolution scheme is required. The government has stayed on course, toward their consolidation goals. A medium-term fiscal framework incorporating expenditure ceilings is a valuable management tool that will help create greater transparency of fiscal priorities and reduce fiscal volatility.
International Monetary Fund
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic performance of Ireland remains strong, supported by sound policies. The growth rate of real GNP per capita continues to be one of the highest among advanced economies and the unemployment rate one of the lowest. However, in recent years, economic growth became more reliant on house building, and competitiveness eroded. Rapidly rising housing prices were accompanied by surging bank credit to property-related sectors and strong wage growth. The banking system continues to perform well, but rapid credit growth has led to vulnerabilities.