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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper describes that with the global downturn in 2007–2009, some of these achievements were partially reversed due to severe negative shocks to growth and changes in the composition of growth. While compared to peer countries, inequality in Armenia remains low; it has increased somewhat since 2009. Poverty has marginally declined after the global crisis, but unemployment remains high. Creating jobs, reducing poverty, and higher inclusiveness would require sustained high growth and implementing pro-poor policies. Better-targeted social policies and more attention to the regional distribution of spending would also help reduce poverty and improve inclusiveness. Poverty declined during the 2000s, supported by high growth. Poverty rate decreased by one third and the extreme poverty declined by half during 2004–2008. In addition to strong growth which created many job opportunities, higher social expenditures played a key role in lowering poverty. Regional disparities of poverty levels remain very high. These disparities, however, are geographical and not across the urban/rural divide. Indeed, contrary to the common perception, poverty rates in urban and rural areas are almost the same.
Tingyun Chen, Mr. Jean-Jacques Hallaert, Mr. Alexander Pitt, Mr. Haonan Qu, Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Alaina Rhee, Ms. Anna Shabunina, Jérôme Vandenbussche, and Irene Yackovlev
This SDN studies the evolution of inequality across age groups leading up to and since the global financial crisis, as well as implications for fiscal and labor policies. Europe’s population is aging, child and youth poverty are rising, and income support systems are often better equipped to address old-age poverty than the challenges faced by poor children and/or unemployed youth today.
International Monetary Fund

The Colombian economy proved resilient to the global financial crisis, and a solid recovery is under way. The pace of monetary tightening envisaged strikes the right balance between restraining credit growth and mitigating incentives for further capital inflows. A sudden acceleration of domestic demand places an additional burden on monetary policy. Colombia’s financial sector oversight is solid, and plans to strengthen cross-border and consolidated supervision are commended. Steep taxation of labor and a relatively high minimum wage are significant hindrances to competitiveness. Colombia’s exchange restrictions remain unchanged.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues Paper carries out an empirical analysis of the effects of policies and external shocks on economic activity in Suriname. The estimates are broadly consistent with prior empirical findings. The results reveal a strong contemporaneous correlation between credit and demand, while the empirical link between exports and demand seems slightly weaker. The results for import demand point to a strong correlation between imports and exports. The export variable is highly significant and explains a large fraction of the total variation in imports. An increase in exports of 1 percent is associated with a 0.61 percent increase in imports.