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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.

International Monetary Fund

The 2011 Article IV Consultation report discusses the Cypriot economy, which faces strong headwinds and downside risks owing to financial turbulence in the euro area and the large exposure of Cypriot banks to Greece. Executive Directors noted that Cyprus faces daunting economic challenges in the face of faltering external demand and worsening domestic financial conditions. Directors urged the authorities to act forcefully to restore sound public finances and safeguard the stability of the banking system.

Adelheid Burgi–Schmelz

'Restoring Hope: Reinvigorating the Millennium Development Goals' assesses how the world is doing in meeting the MDGs--international development targets that all UN member countries and many international organizations have set for 2015. Our lead article, 'Regaining Momentum,' says that while several of the MDGs are within reach, the global economic crisis has set back progress toward a number of the targets, especially those related to health. Developing countries will need the support of advanced economies in to get back on track. Economist Jagdish Bhagwati calls into question the premise of the MDGs and argues that they should be rethought. Philanthropist Melinda Gates gives us the good news that maternal health has been improving, though we are not yet on track to meet the MDG target on maternal mortality. Picture This takes a look at child mortality rates and finds a more sobering picture. In related stories, economists Arvind Panagariya and Rodney Ramcharan have different views on how important it is to fight inequality. This issue also examines the deterioration of fiscal positions in advanced economies--as a result of both the global financial crisis and the long-run health and pension costs of an aging population. 'How Grim a Fiscal Crisis?' argues that consolidation in advanced economies should focus on spending cuts, given the already high tax burdens in many countries. In 'A Hidden Fiscal Crisis,' economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff examines the serious budget issues in the United States. We also look at the expensive needs of a rapidly aging population in France, and steps China is taking to improve pensions and health care. People in Economics profiles Maria Ramos, the academic-turned-Treasury mandarin who had a central role in stabilizing the budget in South Africa. And the 'Back to Basics' feature discusses unemployment.

International Monetary Fund. Communications Department

In February 2016, hackers targeted the central bank of Bangladesh and exploited vulnerabilities in SWIFT, the global financial system’s main electronic payment messaging system, trying to steal $1 billion. While most transactions were blocked, $101 million still disappeared. The heist was a wake-up call for the finance world that systemic cyber risks in the financial system had been severely underestimated.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

On February 20, the finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of Seven industrial countries met in Bonn to review developments in the world economy and to discuss issues of the international financial architecture. In their communiqué, the Group of Seven urged Japan and Europe to contribute to world growth through a strengthening of their economies. The communiqué also affirmed the Group of Seven’s commitment to pursue “policies to help avoid excess volatility and significant misalignment of exchange rates of major currencies” and pledged to “continue to monitor developments in exchange markets and cooperate as appropriate”

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Despite their importance in macroeconomic policymaking and financial stability analyses, high-quality data on real estate indicators are scarce in many countries, and internationally comparable data do not exist. As a first step toward creating reliable real estate indicators, the IMF’s Statistics Department and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) hosted a two-day conference on October 27-28 for officials and analysts from central banks, statistical institutes, international institutions, academia, and the private sector. Russell Krueger and Subramanian S. Sriram report on the proceedings of the confer-ence—the first of its kind at the international level.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In the aftermath of the financial crises of the late 1990s in Asia, Latin America, and Russia, it became clear that the traditional supervisory focus on the soundness of individual banks needed to be expanded to include the health of a nation’s entire financial system and the global system as well.

International Monetary Fund

Uruguay’s Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Requests for Modification, Waiver of Nonobservance and Applicability of Performance Criteria are discussed. Growth remains robust, inflation is subdued, and the external position continues to strengthen, with buoyant exports and upward pressure on the peso. Fiscal performance has been better than expected, with public debt continuing to fall as a percentage of GDP. Structural reforms are also progressing well, with key new reform initiatives under way in several areas.

International Monetary Fund

Uruguay’s Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Requests for Modification, Waiver of Nonobservance and Applicability of Performance Criteria are discussed. Growth remains robust, inflation is subdued, and the external position continues to strengthen, with buoyant exports and upward pressure on the peso. Fiscal performance has been better than expected, with public debt continuing to fall as a percentage of GDP. Structural reforms are also progressing well, with key new reform initiatives under way in several areas.