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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

IMF Country Report No. 21/111

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

1. COVID-19 came at a time of macroeconomic stability and firming growth. Guatemala proved the steadiest economy in Latin America post-GFC (with an average growth of 3½ percent) and economic momentum was strong pre-pandemic. Robust remittances, soaring investor confidence upon the inauguration of Giammattei’s administration (January 2020) and accommodative fiscal and monetary policies supported growth while keeping inflation expectations firmly anchored. The external position remained strong and the banking system liquid and well capitalized.

International Monetary Fund

This paper describes economic developments in Guatemala during the 1990s. The paper discusses social and institutional expenditures of the peace program. The paper highlights that Guatemala’s illiteracy rate was approximately 44 percent in 1995, the second highest in Latin America. Illiteracy is much higher in the predominantly rural departments (about 65 percent), where the indigenous population is more heavily concentrated, than in Guatemala City (16 percent) and is much higher for women (46 percent) than for men (33 percent). The paper also discusses the tax system and trade regime in Guatemala.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Guatemala has managed to keep infections and deaths moderate during the pandemic. The economic impact of COVID-19 has been mild given an early reopening of the economy, unprecedented policy support, and resilient remittances and exports. However, despite large-scale government interventions to support households, poverty and malnutrition have deteriorated following COVID-19 and the two major hurricanes battering Guatemala last November.

Abstract

Taxation, like politics, is the art of the possible--yet most public finance texts ignore the critical role played by tax administration in restoring macroeconomic balance and promoting equity and efficiency. This volume, edited by Richard M. Bird and Milka Casanegra de Jantscher, fills a gap in the literature by linking tax policy and tax administration reform and exploring ways to improve taxpayer compliance.

Robert Hecht, Amie Batson, and Logan Brenzel

This paper presents a snapshot of changes in the world’s health and demographic conditions. The paper highlights that in most parts of the world, individuals are healthier and living longer, thanks to improved health services and living conditions and the more widespread use of immunization, antibiotics, and better contraceptives. Although this trend is likely to continue, hopes are fading in some regions where progress slowed or stopped in the 1990s, primarily as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Moreover, most regions of the developing world will not reach the Millennium Development Goals for health by 2015.

Jean-Louis Sarbib and Peter S. Heller

In the May 21 issue of The Lancet, an international journal of medical science and practice, Ted Schrecker (University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) and Gorik Ooms (Medecins San Frontieres, Brussels, Belgium) argued that government spending targets, created by the World Bank and the IMF under medium-term expenditure frameworks, prevent foreign aid from reaching HIV/AIDS programs in the world’s poorest countries. They also suggested that “the international community has not taken seriously enough the acute need for new resources to assist health systems in the developing world, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.” The World Bank-IMF rebuttal, to appear in the June 18 issue of The Lancet, follows.