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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The following remarks were made by the Acting Chair at the conclusion of the Executive Board’s discussion of the World Economic Outlook, Global Financial Stability Report, and Fiscal Monitor on September 14, 2012.

International Monetary Fund

The 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that the near-term outlook for Belgium is challenging, with real GDP expected to drop by about 3 percent in 2009 and a gradual recovery projected for 2010. The unemployment rate will continue to rise in 2010, and inflation pressures are expected to remain subdued. Uncertainty to the outlook is high but risks appear broadly balanced. The crisis will have a considerable downward impact on potential growth, in addition to that of demographic factors, in 2009–11.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The global economy has deteriorated further since the release of the July 2012 WEO Update, and growth projections have been marked down (Table 1.1). Downside risks are now judged to be more elevated than in the April 2012 and September 2011 World Economic Outlook (WEO) reports. A key issue is whether the global economy is just hitting another bout of turbulence in what was always expected to be a slow and bumpy recovery or whether the current slowdown has a more lasting component. The answer depends on whether European and U.S. policymakers deal proactively with their major short-term economic challenges. The WEO forecast assumes that they do, and thus global activity is projected to reaccelerate in the course of 2012; if they do not, the forecast will likely be disappointed once again. For the medium term, important questions remain about how the global economy will operate in a world of high government debt and whether emerging market economies can maintain their strong expansion while shifting further from external to domestic sources of growth. The problem of high public debt existed before the Great Recession, because of population aging and growth in entitlement spending, but the crisis brought the need to address it forward from the long to the medium term.

Abstract

Dialogue and persuasion are key pillars of effective surveillance…. the Fund will foster an environment of frank and open dialogue and mutual trust with each member….

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

During the financial year 2011, the IMF Executive Board discussed the IEO evaluation of IMF Performance in the Run-Up to the Financial and Economic Crisis: IMF Surveillance in 2004–07. The IEO also produced an evaluation of IMF Research: Relevance and Utilization and provided it to IMF staff for a factual review, consistent with agreed practice. During FY2011, the Executive Board approved a Management Implementation Plan (MIP) for the IEO evaluation of IMF Interactions with Member Countries. Following consultations with the Executive Board and other stakeholders inside and outside the Fund on a work program going forward, the IEO initiated two new evaluations.

Abstract

5. Prior to the global crisis, the Fund was often portrayed as losing relevance to the global economy, in view of its diminishing financing role and the widespread belief in the “Great Moderation.”2 During the immediate pre-crisis period, except for low-volume lending to low-income countries, the IMF was almost exclusively focused on surveillance. Many of the large advanced and emerging economies had lost interest in engaging with the Fund. Key stakeholders argued for downsizing the Fund, as they saw little likelihood that the global economy would again need an “emergency firefighter” for emerging market economies.3 Consequently, the institution was seen as struggling to redefine its strategic role.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

Global growth slowed again during the second quarter of 2012 after rebounding during the first. The slowing has been observed in all regions. This synchronicity suggests an important role for common factors, many of which reflected wide-ranging spillovers from large country-specific or regional shocks. A first shock was the ratcheting up of financial stress in the euro area periphery in the second quarter. Second, domestic demand in many economies in Asia and Latin America (notably Brazil, China, and India, but also others) slowed, owing not just to weaker external demand from Europe but also to domestic factors. Growth also decelerated in the United States.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

During FY2011, the IEO issued the report on its evaluation of IMF Performance in the Run-Up to the Financial and Economic Crisis: IMF Surveillance in 2004–07, which was discussed by the Executive Board on January 26, 2011. The Executive Board agreed to a MIP for the IEO evaluation of IMF Interactions with Member Countries on December 27, 2010.

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

IEO evaluations over the past few years have shared several common concerns. Key among these is the need to strengthen IMF governance, in particular to provide greater clarity on roles and responsibilities, better integration of different streams of work within the institution, better management of institutional change, and a clear framework for assessing results and accountability. IEO evaluations have also called for the Fund to encourage diversity of views and alternative perspectives, and to ensure consistency of treatment accorded to countries across the membership. More broadly, in reflecting on the impact of IEO evaluations, recent attention has focused on weaknesses in the process for following up on Board discussions and in particular on IEO recommendations that had been endorsed by the Executive Board.

Abstract

10. This evaluation considers the period from 2005 to the present, with an emphasis on the period since the onset of the global crisis in 2007–08. This period allows an examination of whether the IMF’s provision of crisis-related financing and the many new initiatives may have changed country authorities’ perceptions of the Fund.