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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

This Technical Assistance Report discusses the technical advice and recommendations given by the IMF mission to the authorities of Armenia regarding design of fiscal rules and associated fiscal and institutional frameworks. Armenia has made significant strides in enhancing macroeconomic stability over the past two decades. Although Armenia’s public debt remains sustainable, a prolonged adjustment is needed to restore sizable fiscal buffers, warranting an upgrade of the fiscal rule framework. The existing debt-rule-based framework provides insufficient operating guidance to fiscal policy and is not flexible enough to deal with severe economic shocks. Mechanisms to deal with a potential breach of the 60 percent debt ceiling and the 50 percent debt brake are excessively restrictive and need to be overhauled.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

During the financial year 2013, the IEO produced two evaluations, International Reserves: IMF Concerns and Country Perspectives and The Role of the IMF as Trusted Advisor, both of which were discussed by the Executive Board. As part of a pilot project, the IEO prepared two reviews of past IEO evaluations, which are summarized in this report and attached in full as annexes. In addition, the IEO published a volume of self-evaluative papers produced for the conference marking its first ten years.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

During FY2013, the IEO issued reports on its evaluations of International Reserves: IMF Concerns and Country Perspectives, in December 2012, and The Role of the IMF as Trusted Advisor, in February 2013. In addition, the IEO initiated a pilot project to review past evaluations, revisiting the Evaluation of Prolonged Use of IMF Resources and Fiscal Adjustment in IMF-Supported Programs. The IEO also produced a volume of self-evaluative papers prepared for the conference marking its first ten years.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

When the IEO was established in 2001, periodic external evaluations of its work were envisaged. The first external evaluation, completed in 2006, assessed whether the IEO had fulfilled its mandate in its first five years of operation and made a number of recommendations to enhance the IEO’s role. In discussing the 2006 evaluation report, IMF Executive Directors agreed that the IEO had served the IMF well and had earned strong support across a broad range of stakeholders. Directors also welcomed the report’s recommendations to enhance IEO effectiveness, including a more focused and strategic orientation as well as enhanced Board involvement, and agreed on another external evaluation of the IEO in five years.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

An approach to follow-up on IEO evaluations was established in the IMF following the first external evaluation of the IEO in 2006. Under this framework, after the Executive Board discusses an IEO evaluation report, the IMF prepares a forward-looking Management Implementation Plan (MIP) for each evaluation to implement IEO recommendations endorsed by the Executive Board. Implementation status is then assessed in a Periodic Monitoring Report (PMR) prepared annually by IMF staff for Board consideration.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The IEO is currently working on five evaluations and is also undertaking two reviews of past evaluations. The status of each is summarized below.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) evaluation on International Reserves: IMF Concerns and Country Perspectives was discussed by the Board in December 2012. This evaluation examined the IMF’s analysis of the effect of reserves on the stability of the international monetary system and its advice on reserve adequacy assessments in the context of bilateral surveillance. In the multilateral context, the evaluation acknowledged the IMF’s broader work stream on the international monetary system but noted that this work had not sufficiently informed the analysis and recommendations regarding reserves. The IEO evaluation of The Role of the IMF as Trusted Advisor was discussed by the Board in February 2013. This evaluation found that perceptions of the IMF had improved, but that they varied markedly by region and country type. Recognizing that there will always be an inherent tension between the IMF’s roles as a global watchdog and as a trusted advisor to member country authorities, the evaluation report explored how the IMF could sustain the more positive image it had achieved in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. The evaluation found that among key challenges facing the IMF were improving the value added and relevance of IMF advice and overcoming the perception of a lack of even-handedness.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses key findings of the First Review under the Stand-By Arrangement for the Republic of Armenia. In light of the large increase in Armenia’s financing needs, the authorities have requested an augmentation of IMF resources in the amount of 180 percent of quota. The revised program maintains the original objectives of responding to the external outlook, strengthening confidence in the domestic currency and the banking sector, and protecting the poor, but would also allow an easing of monetary and fiscal policies to mitigate the severity of the crisis.

International Monetary Fund

Armenia’s third review under the Stand-By Arrangement and its request for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion are discussed. The uptick in inflation was largely driven by exogenous factors, but it is important that these do not feed into further inflationary expectations. The financial sector has been resilient to the crisis and almost all banks are well capitalized. The fiscal stimulus has appropriately supported the economy during the crisis and maintaining priority public spending has been critical for mitigating the impact of the crisis on the poor

International Monetary Fund

This paper assesses the Republic of Armenia’s 2001 Article IV Consultation and a Request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF). The economic situation in Armenia has improved since mid-2000 following the deterioration in late 1999 and early 2000. Real GDP began to recover in the second quarter and increased by 6 percent for 2000 as a whole. The authorities have made progress in reforming the energy sector, which remains a considerable financial drain on the budget and the rest of the economy.