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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Portugal's program implementation is on track despite difficult economic conditions and significant legal challenges. The markedly weaker economic outlook provides a strong case for recalibrating the program’s fiscal targets. This strong adjustment effort needs to be consolidated by sustained fiscal structural reforms. Continued vigilance is warranted to secure financial stability. A more competitive economy for sustainable recovery requires addressing nominal rigidities forcefully. Program success also hinges on continued external support and effective crisis management policies at the euro area level.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This Selected Issues paper on Serbia’s Article IV Consultation reviews the precrisis growth paradigm and its legacy vulnerabilities. The underlying growth model proved vulnerable to shocks, being associated with a high share of nontradable, low domestic savings, and a fragile external position. Convergence to EU income levels was relatively moderate. Economic growth fell following the onset of the global financial crisis and further slowed the pace of convergence. Serbia’s postcrisis income gap remains larger by comparison to more advanced regional economies. Structural bottlenecks continue to undermine overall competitiveness and constrain growth potential.

International Monetary Fund

This 2001 Article IV Consultation highlights that in recent years, economy of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has diversified from bananas into services, mainly tourism, telephone and Internet-based marketing, and offshore financial services. However, the rate of economic growth declined sharply to 2 percent in 2000. The external current account deficit is estimated to have doubled to about 16½ percent of GDP in 2001 largely owing to a decline in banana export volumes, higher imports, and a slowdown in tourism receipts and remittances.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Colombia’s economy has been resilient to the adverse global shocks of recent years. Inflation has been subdued, credit growth has eased, and financial soundness indicators are strong. The strong balance of payments continues to put upward pressure on the Colombian peso. In 2013, growth is expected to rise and inflation to remain on target. Short-term risks to the outlook continue to be tilted to the downside. The central bank’s intervention policy is geared at containing exchange rate volatility and strengthening external buffers.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria and Rephasing of the Program. The 2007 fiscal deficit target increased modestly to 1 percent of GDP. Taxes were cut and budget quality improved, but there remain fiscal risks, in particular in delivering the planned reduction in transfers and subsidies. Over the medium term, the government aims to keep the fiscal deficit below 1½ percent of GDP, cutting overall government spending by 2 percent of GDP while raising public investment.

International Monetary Fund

This paper examines Ukraine’s Request for a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The authorities have requested a 12-month SBA, which they intend to treat as precautionary. Their economic program for 2004 aims to sustain recent stabilization gains and advance some important structural reforms. Key objectives are to support economic growth; keep inflation under control; bolster debt sustainability; maintain an adequate level of international reserves; reduce credit risk in the banking sector; and improve the investment climate, including through wide-ranging tax reforms.