Marco A Espinosa-Vega, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, Mr. Hector Carcel Villanova, Miss Esha Chhabra, Ms. Bidisha Das, and Ms. Yingjie Fan
This departmental paper marks the 10th anniversary of the IMF Financial Access Survey (FAS). It offers a retrospective of the FAS database, along with some reflections as to its future directions.
Since its 2009 launch, the FAS has provided granular data on access to and use of financial services. It is a supply-side database with annual global coverage based on data sourced directly from financial service providers—aimed at supporting policymakers to target and evaluate financial inclusion policies. Its data collection has kept pace with financial innovation, such as the rise of mobile money and growing demand for gender-disaggregated data—and the FAS must continue to evolve.
The staff report for the 2007 Article IV Consultation on Bangladesh highlights recent developments and policy discussions. Bangladesh’s growth outlook and external position remain robust, but inflation has picked up. Overall macroeconomic stability has been maintained, but fiscal performance continues to suffer from structural weaknesses. Executive Directors welcomed the planned reforms in the area of public financial management and the adoption by major ministries of the medium-term budget framework. They supported the recent reforms to promote transparency, fair elections, and the prevention of money laundering.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Bangladesh highlights that economic growth in Bangladesh continues to be strong with stable inflation. Sustained growth in the ready-made garment sector with abundant low-cost labor has helped the economy to diversify away from the agricultural sector to a more manufacturing-based economy. Remittance inflows from Bangladeshis overseas continue to play an important role in promoting private consumption and external stability. While the economy still has significant potential with favorable demographics, to ensure sustainability and resilience of growth, the country needs to keep upgrading its macroeconomic policy framework and advance a range of structural measures. Bangladesh Bank should monitor inflation developments closely and stand ready to adjust its stance as needed. A gradual increase in exchange rate flexibility would help buffer the economy against external shocks and preserve the level of reserves. Continuous improvements in public financial management and frameworks to limit vulnerability to corruption will help the authorities’ goal to reach upper middle-income country status.