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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following are edited excerpts of the communiqué issued by the ministers of the Intergovernmental Group of 24 on International Monetary Affairs (the Group of 24) in Washington, D.C., on September 25. The full text of the communiqué is available on the IMF’s website: " www.imf.org.

International Monetary Fund

This 2008 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Estonia is now experiencing its most severe recession since the early 1990s. The financial sector has withstood the global financial turbulence well so far, but risks remain significant. Executive Directors have commended the Estonian authorities for the progress made in recent years in achieving economic convergence and deepening real and financial ties with the European Union. Directors have also commended the authorities for their planned substantial fiscal restraint in 2009.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for the 2011 Article IV Consultation concluded that a vibrant recovery marked Estonia’s first year in the euro area, albeit amid nascent tensions. The economy’s strong rebound has been grounded in a proven track record of prudent macroeconomic policies. Executive Directors endorsed that Estonia faces an increasingly challenging environment as it looks to continue implementing policies preserving macroeconomic policy credibility and safeguarding sustainable growth. They also stated that, for the financial sector, the challenge entails safeguarding stability in the context of heightened global financial tension.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
Ms. Alicia García-Herrero
The experiences of seven countries that have undergone banking crises show that crises have significant implications for the short-run stability of the demand for money, the money multiplier, the transmission mechanism, and the signal variables of monetary policy. Monetary and credit instability, coupled with changes in the nature of the monetary and credit aggregates, complicate monetary management. These findings may require redesigning monetary instruments in favor of faster-reacting instruments, such as open market operations, and introducing additional indicators of the monetary stance, such as asset price and exchange rate movements. More frequent reviews of monetary programs may also be necessary.
Mr. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti and Mr. Philip R. Lane
We examine whether the cross-country incidence and severity of the 2008-2009 global recession is systematically related to pre-crisis macroeconomic and financial factors. We find that the pre-crisis level of development, increases in the ratio of private credit to GDP, current account deficits, and openness to trade are helpful in understanding the intensity of the crisis. International risk sharing did little to shield domestic demand from the country-specific component of output declines, while those countries with large pre-crisis current account deficits saw domestic demand fall by much more than domestic output during the crisis.
Miss Catriona Purfield and Mr. Christoph B. Rosenberg
The paper traces the Baltics’ adjustment strategy during the 2008-09 global financial crisis. The abrupt end to the externally-financed domestic demand boom triggered a severe output collapse, bringing per capita income levels back to 2005/06 levels. In response to this shock, the Baltics undertook an internal devaluation that relied on unprecedented fiscal and nominal wage adjustment, steps to preserve financial sector stability as well as complementary efforts to facilitate voluntary private debt restructuring. One-and-half years on, the strategy is making good progress but not yet complete. Confidence in the exchange rate was maintained, the banking system was supported by its parent banks, external imbalances and inflation have largely disappeared, competitiveness is improving, and fiscal deficits are gradually being brought back towards pre-crisis levels. However, amid record levels of unemployment, further reforms are needed to foster a return to more balanced growth, fiscal sustainability, and a healthier banking system.