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Jin-Kyu Jung, Manasa Patnam, Anna Ter-Martirosyan, and Mr. Vikram Haksar

Forecasting macroeconomic variables is key to developing a view on a country's economic outlook. Most traditional forecasting models rely on fitting data to a pre-specified relationship between input and output variables, thereby assuming a specific functional and stochastic process underlying that process. We pursue a new approach to forecasting by employing a number of machine learning algorithms, a method that is data driven, and imposing limited restrictions on the nature of the true relationship between input and output variables. We apply the Elastic Net, SuperLearner, and Recurring Neural Network algorithms on macro data of seven, broadly representative, advanced and emerging economies and find that these algorithms can outperform traditional statistical models, thereby offering a relevant addition to the field of economic forecasting.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus expressed his formal condolences on the death of the King of Jordan. Following is the text of news brief 99/6, issued on February 7.

International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

Abstract

Address at the Bank of England Twentieth Anniversary Conference London, U.K. September 29, 2017 International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde delivered this address at the Bank of England conference, “Independence—20 Years On” in London, U.K., on September 29, 2017.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues explores ways for strengthening the current fiscal framework in Suriname and considers options for a new fiscal anchor. The paper provides an overview of mineral natural resources and their importance for the budget. It also lays out the current framework for fiscal planning and budget execution in Suriname and discusses the analytical underpinnings of modernizing it to make it more robust. The paper also presents estimates of long-term sustainability benchmarks based on the IMF’s policy toolkit for resource-rich developing countries. Suriname’s fiscal framework can be strengthened through a fiscal anchor rooted in the non-resource primary balance. Given the size of fiscal adjustment required to bring the non-resource primary balance in line with the long-term sustainability benchmark, a substantial transition period is needed to implement it. The IMF Staff’s adjustment scenario—designed to put public debt on the downward path—closes the current gap by less than half, implying that adjustment would need to continue beyond the 5-year horizon.