International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This report seeks to help the IMF enhance its effectiveness by identifying major recurring issues from the IEO’s first 20 evaluations and assessing where they stand. The IMF’s core areas of responsibility are surveillance, lending, and capacity development. The aim of this report is to strengthen the follow-up process by focusing on key issues that recurred in IEO evaluations, rather than on specific recommendations on their implementation. The IEO believes that a framework of reviewing and monitoring recurring issues would be useful in establishing incentives for progress, strengthening the Board’s oversight, and providing learning opportunities for the IMF.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic growth in Spain has resumed, and unemployment is falling. Exporters are gaining market share, and the current account is in surplus for the first time in decades. Financial conditions have improved sharply, with sovereign yields at record lows. Business investment is rebounding strongly and private consumption has also started to recover owing to improved employment prospects and rising confidence. Executive Directors have welcomed the improving Spanish economy. They have stressed that labor market reform should be accompanied by product and service market liberalization to maximize the gains to growth and jobs.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes Spain’s sustainable growth rate. It sheds some light on Spain’s medium-term growth prospects by looking into the key factors driving potential growth, both in the past and likely in the future, and international experience of countries in the aftermath of financial crisis. The paper suggests Spain is likely to face a long period of moderate growth (about 1½–2 percent) and high unemployment, but policy action—especially that directed toward reducing structural unemployment and raising productivity—could lead to much better outcomes.
Portugal’s economy is in deep recession, and the crisis has opened up a large output gap, with severe consequences for employment and government revenue. While the focus is on the medium- and long-term, this analysis also offers insights on how deep the output gap is. It also highlights ways in which policies and reforms can promote growth over the longer haul and suggests that achieving a 2-percent growth rate over the long term—consistent with moderate convergence growth—is a realistic objective.
The paper is an account of Finland’s unexpected upcoming deceleration in the economy at the end of 2011 and later. The deleveraging of the financial sector and the debt crisis made the nation fear an inevitable recession. To sustain this vulnerable situation, due attention was given to short-term growth and long-term challenges. Banks were encouraged to build up capitals and toughen bank decrees. Plans were made to multiply labor power and productivity. At the end of the paper, the Board welcomed the commitment of the state in improving and safeguarding the financial sector.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
In the late 1990s, a series of capital account crises rocked the global economy. The IMF found itself at the center of this turmoil and criticized as never before. The experience triggered extensive internal and external reexaminations of IMF policies and practices and intensified the attention paid by the IMF to identifying vulnerabilities and preventing and resolving crises. It also encouraged the organization to add an external perspective to its learning culture.