This Selected Issues paper analyzes the impact of security crisis in Mali. The 2012 crisis has significant economic, social, and humanitarian impact, especially in the northern regions. The increase in security spending weighs on the budget and reduces space for priority spending. Persistent insecurity hinders investment and growth. The crisis resulted in the interruption and/ or disruption of learning activities in the northern part of the country, dangerously compromising the efforts of the Government of Mali and its partners to achieve Education For All. The security crisis has also slowed progress toward reducing poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
This Selected Issues paper considers features of the Luxembourg tax system that may be susceptible to changes in international tax transparency standards and surveys related policy options. Luxembourg’s predictable and generally low-rate tax system has helped establish it as a leading financial and commercial entrepôt and has supported its fiscal revenues. Its revenue base could, however, be susceptible to changes in the European Union and global tax environment. This paper highlights that to address potential challenges to Luxembourg’s revenue base, the tax policy review should explore selective rate increases and base broadening measures. Moreover, the tax practices should seek to avoid encouraging unnecessary complexity in corporate ownership structures and intragroup financial contracts.
The staff report for Albania’s Sixth Review Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility is presented. The economy has achieved robust noninflationary growth, albeit with increasing external imbalances, and has begun to tackle longstanding problems in the business environment. The upcoming elections risk diverting policymakers’ attention from stability-oriented policies. Despite significant buffers and inbuilt strengths of the financial sector, continued diligent supervision, high-frequency monitoring, and enhanced cooperation with foreign supervisors of resident banks will be needed to underpin prompt, proactive responses to changing circumstances.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Swiss economy has adjusted to the large cumulative exchange rate appreciation that took place since the global financial crisis. After a subdued start to 2017, GDP growth accelerated to 1.1 percent in 2017, and the positive momentum continued in Q1:2018, although at a slightly reduced pace. The improved external outlook, together with the depreciation since mid-2017, are expected to energize the economy and lift GDP growth to 2.25 percent in 2018, before it gradually moderates to 1.75 percent over the medium term. Inflation is expected to increase to the upper half of the target band in 2018–19, and to subsequently revert to the mid-point.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Irish economy continues to grow at a rapid pace, well above the European Union average. Although headline data are distorted by the volatility of multinationals’ activity, the broad recovery of (modified) domestic demand (4 percent in 2017) underpins the expansion. Strong labor market performance brought the unemployment rate down to below 6 percent by April 2018. Although wage pressures emerged in some sectors, inflation remained subdued, mainly reflecting the pass-through of pound sterling depreciation. Public finances continued to improve on the back of strong output growth, while the public debt burden declined slightly to 68 percent of GDP. The outlook remains broadly positive but with externally-driven downside risks.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic growth in Luxembourg reached 2.3 percent in 2017, above the European Union average, and was driven by net exports of financial services and private consumption. Growth is projected at 3.5 percent for 2018, with continued strong job creation, and a temporary slowdown in inflation. In 2017, buoyant corporate tax revenues contributed to a fiscal surplus of 1.4 percent of GDP. The full impact of 2016 tax reform, and a continued need for high public investment are expected to result in a small fiscal surplus over the medium-term.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that Luxembourg’s growth prospects remain favorable, but downside risks arise from a weaker-than-expected global growth, a disorderly Brexit, changes in international tax rules, and a sharp tightening of global financial conditions. Domestically, rising real estate prices could exacerbate already elevated household indebtedness and increase affordability challenges. Fiscal policy should aim to maintain a strong fiscal position and preserve buffers. The government’s plans, while appropriate, will result in a slightly expansionary budget in 2019. The cost and timeline of the planned measures over the medium term remain to be determined. Given risks ahead, including from potential changes in international taxation, Luxembourg should build on its strong fiscal record and preserve sizeable buffers. Structural policies should focus on addressing key gaps in the economy. Further reforms of the pension system are needed to ensure its sustainability, while considering intergenerational equity and trade-offs of various reform options.
This Selected Issues paper for the United States discusses the microeconomics of the country—household wealth and savings. Households’ consumption-saving decisions have an important bearing on the U.S. economic outlook. This paper demonstrates how households with consistently lower income, which have shown growth in the years prior to the crisis, experienced larger declines in their saving rates and a larger rise in their indebtedness before the crisis, contributing significantly to the dynamics of the mean saving rate.
This paper explores whether corporate tax bias toward debt finance differs between banks and nonbanks, using a large panel of micro data. On average, it finds that there is no significant difference. The marginal tax effect for both banks and non-banks is close to 0.2. However, the responsiveness differs considerably across the size distribution and the conditional leverage distribution. For nonbanks, we find a U-shaped relationship between asset size and tax responsiveness, although this pattern does not hold universally across the conditional leverage distribution. For banks, in contrast, the tax responsiveness declines linearly in asset size. Quantile regressions show further that capitaltight banks are significantly less responsive than are capital-abundant banks; the same pattern holds for the largest non-banks. Still, even the largest banks with high conditional leverage ratios feature a significant, positive tax response.