During the financial year beginning on May 1, 2006, and ending on April 30, 2007, the Executive Board focused on adapting Fund policies and operations to better meet the evolving needs of the IMF’s member countries, whose number increased to 185 in January 2007, when Montenegro joined. Although many of the IMF’s members experienced another year of strong economic growth and favorable market conditions, the economic and financial environment was not without risk. Large global imbalances persisted, the U.S. economy slowed, prices for oil and nonfuel commodities remained high, and investors continued to show a large appetite for risky assets.
The IMF monitors the international monetary and financial system to ensure that it is functioning smoothly and to identify vulnerabilities that could undermine its stability. To the same end, it oversees economic policies in its 185 member countries, offering members analysis and advice and encouraging them to adopt policies that promote financial and macroeconomic stability and sustained growth. The IMF’s surveillance activities at the global and country levels are complemented by periodic assessments of regional developments, including the economic policies pursued under formal regional arrangements such as monetary unions. This combination of oversight and advice is known as surveillance (Box 2.1).
The IMF provides financial and other kinds of support to its member countries through a variety of instruments, including lending facilities, tailored to their different circumstances (Table 3.1). Review and approval of members’ requests for financial assistance and program support are core responsibilities of the Board, alongside surveillance.
The technical assistance and training offered by the IMF at the request of member countries are intended to help them fulfill the commitments they make when they join the IMF—to pursue policies that foster financial and macroeconomic stability, sustainable economic growth, and orderly exchange rate arrangements, and to provide the IMF with timely, accurate, and high-quality data about their economies. Equally important, technical assistance and training are also vehicles for helping member countries implement the recommendations that come out of the IMF’s Article IV consultations (see Chapter 2). Hence, aligning and integrating capacity building with surveillance and program work have become key objectives of the IMF’s Executive Board, which regularly reviews Fund technical assistance and training.
The Fund’s Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) calls for a number of reforms in the governance and management of the IMF, including adjusting members’ quotas to reflect their role in the world economy more accurately; strengthening communication and transparency; embedding MTS priorities in an output-oriented medium-term budget framework; taking other steps to make the IMF a more cost-effective and efficient institution; and adopting a new income model to place the IMF on a sound financial footing for the long term. Substantial progress was made on all of these fronts during FY2007.
The Fund is entrusted with a wide array of responsibilities over the functioning of the international monetary system. It fulfills this oversight role by providing a forum for member countries to consult and examine matters of global economic interest, as well as economic policies of individual countries. Central to the purposes and operations of the Fund is its mandate under the Articles of Agreement to “exercise firm surveillance over the exchange rate policies of countries” and to adopt “specific principles for the guidance of all members with respect to those policies.” The Fund carries out this mandate by examining international monetary issues and by analyzing all aspects of member countries’ macroeconomic and related structural policies since these policies taken together determine the way member countries conduct their exchange rate policies.
The world economy showed a modest recovery in 1993, with total output increasing by 2.3 percent compared with a rise of 1.8 percent in 1992, largely owing to strong growth in the developing countries. At the same time, growth in the industrial countries fell slightly to 1.2 percent in 1993 from 1.6 percent in 1992 and the unemployment rate rose by half a percentage point. The growth of world trade slowed to 2.4 percent from 4.5 percent.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
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.
El año pasado planteó desafíos inesperados para la comunidad internacional, señala la Directora Gerente del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), Christine Lagarde, en el prefacio del Informe Anual de 2015, Juntos frente a los desafíos, publicado el día de hoy. En un contexto en que la atención siguió centrándose en promover un crecimiento más vigoroso y más inclusivo y en fortalecer la cooperación mundial, el FMI se vio ante acontecimientos económicos que exigirían ajustes rápidos. Algunos de los aspectos destacados de la labor del FMI durante el año fueron una investigación sobre el impacto mundial del descenso de los precios del petróleo, financiamiento y asesoramiento de política para países en dificultades, financiamiento de emergencia para combatir la crisis del ébola en África occidental, un nuevo fondo de alivio para los países pobres y más vulnerables afectados por desastres naturales y de salud pública, estudios sobre política fiscal para reducir la desigualdad, capacitación en línea gratuita para funcionarios públicos y datos estadísticos gratuitos en línea para todos los usuarios. El informe relata la labor desplegada por el Directorio Ejecutivo del FMI y presenta los informes financieros correspondientes al ejercicio comprendido entre el 1 de mayo de 2014 y el 30 de abril de 2015. El informe describe el apoyo que el FMI brinda a sus 188 países miembros, haciendo hincapié en las funciones básicas de la institución: evaluar las políticas económicas y financieras de los países, proporcionar financiamiento cuando sea necesario y fortalecer las capacidades en aspectos fundamentales de la política económica.
The Annual Report to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF’s activities and policies during any given year. There are five chapters: (1) Overview, (2) Developments in the Global Economy and Financial Markets, (3) Policies to Secure Sustained and Balanced Global Growth, (4) Reforming and Strengthening the IMF to Better Support Member Countries, and (5) Finances, Organization, and Accountability. The full financial statements for the year are published separately and are also available, along with appendixes and other supplementary materials.