This Selected Issues paper on Australia highlights the IMF’s new Global Integrated Monetary and Fiscal Model (GIMF), which is used to examine the macroeconomic implications of alternative fiscal responses to higher revenue. Lower labor and capital income taxes, along with higher public investment, will generate the largest economic gains in the long term. The model shows that saving a portion of the additional revenue in the short term can help alleviate demand pressures and increase overall domestic savings.
This paper analyzes likely effectiveness of the fiscal policy in supporting aggregate demand in Australia. The simulation analysis illustrates that the type of fiscal measure and the underlying behavioral responses have an important impact on the magnitude of fiscal multipliers. The Global Integrated Monetary and Fiscal Model simulations also suggest that the cumulative impact after five years could be close to 10 percentage points of GDP for the announced stimulus measures that cumulate to almost 8 percentage points of GDP.
Property price inflation has accelerated during the last few years, propelled by low mortgage rates, poor returns from alternative investments, strong employment and immigration, and tax incentives. Strong housing demand has led to a substantial rise in housing prices. Most industrial countries face significant fiscal pressures over the longer term associated with population aging and rising health care costs. Significant uncertainty surrounds projections of future fiscal costs. One comprehensive way to take account of this uncertainty for formulating policy decisions is through stochastic simulation.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the housing prices in Australia. Housing prices in Australia have increased strongly over the past two decades, including by comparison internationally. Thus housing prices are often argued to be overvalued. Many counter-arguments have been put forward for why such measures are flawed. This paper argues that housing prices are moderately stronger than consistent with current economic fundamentals, but less than a comparison to historical or international averages would suggest. International comparisons of price-to-income ratios suggest that Australia is broadly in line with comparator countries, although significant data comparability issues make inference difficult.
After suffering a major setback during 2011, global prospects are gradually strengthening again, but downside risks remain elevated. Through the third quarter, growth was broadly in line with the estimates in the September 2011 World Economic Outlook (WEO). Real GDP in many emerging and developing economies was somewhat weaker than expected, but growth surprised on the upside in the advanced economies. However, activity took a sharp turn for the worse during the fourth quarter, mainly in the euro area (Figure 1.1, panels 1 and 2).
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Risks to global financial stability have declined since the October 2010 Global Financial Stability Report, helped in part by improving macroeconomic conditions. However, sovereign balance sheets remain under strain in many advanced economies, structural weaknesses and vulnerabilities in the euro area pose significant risks to bank balance sheets, credit risks remain high, and capital inflows to emerging markets could strain their absorptive capacity.