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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following are edited excerpts from an address by IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato to the Board of Governors of the IMF on October 3, in Washington, D.C. The full text is available on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

The financial turmoil that erupted in August 2007 and developed into possibly the worst financial shock since the end of World War II has slowed the global expansion. Economic activity in advanced economies decelerated sharply toward the end of the year as the crisis in the U.S. subprime mortgage market spread across a range of financial institutions and markets. The weakening of growth was most pronounced in the United States. Emerging market and developing countries have thus far been less affected and continue to grow at a rapid pace, owing to positive terms of trade movements from the increase in oil and commodity prices, strong productivity gains resulting from greater integration into the global economy, and improved policy frameworks that have underpinned sustained access to capital. Headline inflation has increased around the world, fueled by high oil and commodity prices; in many developing and emerging market countries, more generalized inflationary pressures are being sustained by strong growth in domestic demand (Figure 17).

International Monetary Fund

This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that Iraq’s longer-term economic outlook is strong as oil prices and production are projected to increase markedly in the coming years. However, based on conservative oil price assumptions, the external current account and the overall balance of payments are expected to remain in deficit in 2010 and 2011. Similarly, Iraq’s fiscal position is projected to record significant, albeit declining deficits in both years, before returning to a surplus position in 2012.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This paper discusses Iraq's First and Second Reviews of the Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) and Request for a Three-Year Stand-By Arrangement. The oil price decline has resulted in a massive reduction in Iraq's budget revenue, pushing the fiscal deficit to an unsustainable level. The authorities are responding to the crisis with a mix of necessary fiscal adjustment and financing, maintaining their commitment to the exchange rate peg. The authorities started an SMP in November 2015 to establish a track record of policy credibility and pave the way to a possible IMF financing arrangement. Their performance under the SMP has been broadly satisfactory.

International Monetary Fund

Iraq showed good progress in undertaking strong macroeconomic policies and implementing economic reforms under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). Executive Directors welcomed this, and noted that low investment and stagnating output in the oil sector continue to hamper economic growth. They stressed that the new SBA should maintain macroeconomic stability, facilitate higher investment and output in the oil sector, and move forward with key reforms that were initiated under the previous arrangement. They also emphasized for reduction in inflation, increase in international reserves, and implementation of structural reforms.

International Monetary Fund

This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that Iraq’s economic growth has been slower than expected at the time of the last Article IV Consultation, mainly because the expected expansion of oil production has not materialized. Following a decline in oil production and real GDP in 2005, economic growth is estimated at 6¼ percent in 2006. Progress in implementing the structural reforms has been made. Official fuel prices have been increased to levels in other oil-exporting countries in the region, and private sector importation of fuel products has been liberalized.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This paper discusses Iraq's First Review of the Three-Year Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) and Financing Assurances Review, and Requests for Waivers of Nonobservance and Applicability of Performance Criteria (PCs). Two PCs at end September appear to have been met on the basis of preliminary unaudited data. One PC at end-June 2016 was missed. One continuous PC was missed. Completion of some structural benchmarks was delayed, but progress is being made for each. Hence, program performance has been mixed, but understandings on sufficient corrective actions have been reached to put the program back on track. The IMF staff recommends completion of the first review under the SBA and the financing assurances review and modification of the PCs and related rephrasing.

International Monetary Fund

The second review under Stand-By Arrangement and the financing assurances review highlight Iraq’s economic activity and robust growth. The authorities continue to see the improvement in security conditions, and the related recovery of oil and non-oil activity, as a window of opportunity to move toward a path of high and sustainable growth, in the context of continued macroeconomic stability. The Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) is committed to maintaining its tight monetary stance, including through its exchange rate policy.

International Monetary Fund

This 2009 Article IV Consultation highlights that Iraq’s longer-term economic outlook is strong as oil prices and production are projected to increase markedly in the coming years. However, based on conservative oil price assumptions, the external current account and the overall balance of payments are expected to remain in deficit in 2010 and 2011. Similarly, Iraq’s fiscal position is projected to record significant, albeit declining deficits in both years, before returning to a surplus position in 2012.