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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This paper discusses Albania’s Second and Third Reviews Under the Extended Arrangement and Request for Waiver for the Nonobservance of Performance Criterion, Waiver of Applicability of PCs, and Rephasing of Future Disbursements. The program is on track. All end-June, end-September, and available end-December quantitative PCs were met. However, the continuous PC on the accumulation of external arrears was not observed because of technical delay with one interest payment. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for the completion of the second and third reviews under the Extended Arrangement, waiver of applicability of PCs, and rephasing of future disbursements.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the unconventional energy boom in North America, and its macroeconomic implications and challenges for Canada. The unconventional energy boom has had significant positive effects on Canada’s economic activity and has the potential to contribute even more in the future with the appropriate extension of infrastructure capacity. The findings suggest that although limited exports capacity would result in output losses over the medium term, the potential output gains from a full market access of Canada’s energy products could reach about 2 percent of GDP over a 10-year horizon.

Mr. Paul Henri Mathieu and Clinton R. Shiells

This paper focuses on the Doha Development Agenda. The paper highlights that over the past 20 years, world trade has grown twice as fast as world real GDP, deepening economic integration and raising living standards. The paper underscores that the launch of a new trade round in Doha in November 2001 was a major breakthrough following the debacle in Seattle in 1999. The new round places the needs and interests of developing countries at the heart of its work, but a successful outcome for rich and poor nations alike is by no means a foregone conclusion.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund

Bulgaria’s currency board arrangement continues to have broad political and public support and shows no signs of strain, as interest rates are low and stable, fiscal reserves ample, and banks liquid. A structural reform agenda has also been implemented. The authorities have improved banking supervision, started the overhaul of the pension and health care systems, and liberalized trade and prices. Executive Directors stressed the need to strengthen the bank supervision and corporate governance to reduce the perceived risks of lending to the private sector.

International Monetary Fund

Ukraine's economic performance has been impressive with strong growth and declining inflation under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Executive Directors appreciated the macroeconomic performance, and emphasized that continued prudent monetary policies in combination with exchange rate flexibility will be essential to maintain low inflation. They urged the need for accelerating structural reforms, liberalizing the agriculture sector, restructuring the bank, and strengthening the transparency and governance in the energy sector. They agreed that the country has completed the fifth and sixth reviews under the EFF.

International Monetary Fund

This paper presents Romania’s First Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and a Request for Waiver and Modification of Performance Criteria. Output growth remains favorable and disinflation is proceeding. The current account deficit is in line with the program’s target, and the balance of payments is strengthening. Credit growth in general has slowed, but its foreign currency denominated component has picked up again. Net wage growth remains high, fueling consumption, but labor costs are not deviating substantially from productivity growth.