MICHAEL S. BORISH, MILLARD F. LONG, and MICHEL NOËL
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This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix highlights that after eight years of decline, economic activity of Cameroon began to pick up following the January 1994 devaluation of the CFA franc, the accompanying upturn in world economic activity, and favorable international commodity prices. Real GDP, which had fallen by an annual average of 4 percent since the mid-1980s, began to recover, with the annual growth rate stabilizing at about 5 percent in the three years to 1997/98. In the policy area, the 1994 devaluation was accompanied by tax and trade reforms.
The government has implemented the IMF-supported program with impressive firmness and has moved quickly to adopt corrective measures as needed to ensure that it stays on track. Much has been accomplished in stabilization and structural reform within a short period. Achievement of the fiscal objectives will be challenging, in both Serbia and Montenegro. Continued progress in structural reform is important. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia needs the continued support of donors and creditors. The World Bank is closely involved in the reconstruction efforts.
This Selected Issues paper aims to present a medium-term reform strategy that could be pursued by Libya to accelerate its transition to a market economy. The paper reviews the main characteristics of the Libyan economy, and medium-term prospects under current policies. It examines the priority reforms that Libya needs to implement to accelerate its transition to a market economy, while maintaining macroeconomic stability. The paper also reviews a second set of reforms that aim to consolidate the reform process and advance the restructuring of the economy in favor of the non-oil sector.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes the progress made by Estonia since independence. It takes stock of the developments in the banking system and describes how the number of banks in Estonia has been reduced through a series of bankruptcies and mergers from 41 in 1992 to 5 by end 1998. The paper explores nonbank financial sector developments. The paper also describes a composite index of coincidence indicators and tests how well it has tracked recent developments in Estonia.
This 1999 Article IV Consultation highlights that real GDP growth of Estonia slowed to 4 percent in 1998. Tighter macroeconomic policies, the decline in the stock market, and banking difficulties in the wake of the Russian crisis in August 1998 dampened domestic consumption and investment. Output growth in early 1999 has remained weak. Overall, the direct impact of the Russian crisis on growth was relatively modest, mainly because Estonia had reoriented most of its trade to the West and the exposure of Estonian banks to Russian financial markets was limited.
The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Mr. John R. Garrett, Hans-Joachim Beyer, and Ms. Claudia H Dziobek
Successful privatization must be accompanied by the complete removal of privileges and any public policy mission. Bank behavior changes rapidly as profit maximation replaces the bureaucratic objective function. Once privileges are granted, they are difficult to remove. Therefore, privatization is a one-time (nonreversible) operation. The German mortgage bank, DePfa, went through a carefully planned and lengthy privatization process that was successful. Fannie Mae, the U.S. mortgage firm, became a privately owned institution endowed with special privileges, which led to a quasi-monopoly position. This resulted in suboptimal financial sector performance. Fannie Mae’s special privileges have proven resistant to reform efforts.
This paper discusses Kosovo's First Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Requests for Modification and Waivers of Applicability of Performance Criteria (PC). The program is on track. All end-August 2015 PCs and indicative targets were met by comfortable margins. All structural benchmarks for the first review have been met. More broadly, there is strong ownership of structural reforms in the financial sector and in public procurement. The authorities reaffirmed the targets for the fiscal deficit and bank balances for next year and identified measures to achieve these. The IMF staff support the authorities' request for completion of the first review.
This paper discusses Serbia's Third Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria (PCs). The program is delivering good results. Significant fiscal tightening and efforts to address structural weaknesses and improve the business climate have helped restore growth and boost confidence and foreign direct investment. All end-September PCs were met with significant margins. However, there was a minor deviation in the indicative criterion on domestic arrears, and implementation of structural benchmarks has faced delays. Modifications of the end-December fiscal performance criteria are proposed to allow recognition of past liabilities.