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David A. Wise, Graham Bird, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Dahlan Sutalaksana, Marie Lavigne, Bernhard Fischer,, Juan-Carlos Herken-Krauer,, Matthias Lucke,, Peter Nunnenkamp, and Pierre Grou

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.

PATRICIA ANNEZ and ALFRED FRIENDLY

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. External Relations Dept.

During the 1990s, income per capita in Ireland grew rapidly, converging to the European Union (EU) average as output and employment expanded. But over the medium term, growth rates are projected to be significantly lower, given the limited scope for further increases in labor supply and productivity catch-up. Marialuz Moreno-Badia from the IMF’s European Department outlines the challenges facing the Irish economy.

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
This paper reviews economic developments in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region during 1997–98. The paper highlights that beginning in mid-1997, the regional crisis began to erode confidence in Hong Kong’s exchange rate and prompted a series of speculative attacks. Pressures on the exchange rate led to sharply higher interest rates, weakened domestic demand, and clouded growth prospects for 1998. The paper provides an update on the transition issues since the transfer of sovereignty on July 1, 1997. Cyclical developments and trends in domestic and external demand and the property market are also analyzed.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Article IV Consultation highlights that Australia experienced only a minor downturn after the end of the mining investment and commodity price boom but, as elsewhere, the adjustment and rebalancing has been slow, with below-target inflation and low wage growth amid economic slack. Macro-financial vulnerabilities relating to high household debt and low housing affordability have become major concerns after a recent housing boom. The baseline forecasts entail a soft landing in the housing market, but a stronger market correction remains a risk. Overall, near-term risks to growth are to the downside, mirroring the global risk picture, with the impact of shocks potentially being amplified by high household debt. The IMF staff welcomes the authorities’ continued commitment to working actively with international partners to promote the global multilateral trading system. Macroeconomic policy support should remain in place until full employment and inflation in the target range are firmly within reach. The structural policy agenda appropriately targets innovation, infrastructure gaps, tax reform, and energy policy, although progress has been limited in some areas.
Burcu Aydin and Ms. Engin Volkan
The global financial crisis has exposed the limitations of a conventional inflation targeting (IT) framework in insulating an economy from shocks, and demonstrated that its rigid application may aggravate the effect of shocks on output and inflation. Accordingly, we investigate possible refinements to the IT framework by incorporating financial stability considerations. We propose a small open economy DSGE model, calibrated for Korea during the period of 2003 - 07, with real and financial frictions. The findings indicate that incorporating financial stability considerations can help smooth business cycle fluctuations more effectively than a conventional IT framework.
Peter W. Bocock

This paper analyzes the impact of economic development on the environment. The paper highlights that the environmental impact of the industrial process includes everything from the effects of withdrawing the inputs for industry from nature, through the effects of transforming the inputs into salable products, the effects of using the products, and the effects of disposing of what remains after the product no longer has an economic use. The heart of the problem is that almost none of these impacts of industrial processes can readily be costed.

Helen Hughes

This paper describes modernization of ports in Peru. With the sea so predominant in the life of the country, modern ports are vital in Peru. A program has been undertaken to abandon the numerous obsolete ports served by barges and to establish a few strategically situated ports—modern, mechanized, and with terminals having direct mooring facilities. At the same time, Callao, the country’s chief port, has been improved, and specially equipped ports are being planned for fishing products.

Kyu Sik Lee

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.