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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

On May 25, the IMF Executive Board completed the second review under the Stand-By credit for Ecuador and approved its extension to December 31, 2001. The full text of News Brief No. 01/47 is available on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).

International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) evaluation on International Reserves: IMF Concerns and Country Perspectives was discussed by the Board in December 2012. This evaluation examined the IMF’s analysis of the effect of reserves on the stability of the international monetary system and its advice on reserve adequacy assessments in the context of bilateral surveillance. In the multilateral context, the evaluation acknowledged the IMF’s broader work stream on the international monetary system but noted that this work had not sufficiently informed the analysis and recommendations regarding reserves. The IEO evaluation of The Role of the IMF as Trusted Advisor was discussed by the Board in February 2013. This evaluation found that perceptions of the IMF had improved, but that they varied markedly by region and country type. Recognizing that there will always be an inherent tension between the IMF’s roles as a global watchdog and as a trusted advisor to member country authorities, the evaluation report explored how the IMF could sustain the more positive image it had achieved in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. The evaluation found that among key challenges facing the IMF were improving the value added and relevance of IMF advice and overcoming the perception of a lack of even-handedness.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq have led to a massive influx of refugees, putting enormous pressure on Jordan’s limited resources, and to disruptions in trade routes, less tourism, and a hesitant investment sentiment. At the same time, the near complete halt of gas flows from Egypt required imports of expensive fuel for electricity generation, contributing to large losses at the national electricity company and adding to the already high public debt. Jordan’s program has helped the economy weather these shocks. Gradual consolidation by the central government and public utilities, aided by lower oil prices, ensured that public debt is broadly stabilizing this year and, together with a prudent monetary policy, has preserved macroeconomic stability and supported confidence.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for the Post-Program Monitoring Discussions on Jordan focuses on economic developments and policies. The macroeconomic policy mix included prudent budgetary management and a credit policy supportive of economic expansion. Monetary developments reflected the brisk growth in credit to the private sector on account of the buoyant economic activity and government domestic financing needs related to delays in privatization. Reflecting buoyant tax revenues and tight expenditure management, the fiscal position has strengthened, and the total public debt/GDP ratio has fallen.

The June issue of the IMF Research Bulletin looks at the role of IMF programs and capacity building in fostering structural reforms and the economics of Arab countries undergoing political transitions. The Q&A analyzes the neutral interest rate through the experiences of several Latin American countries. The Research Bulletin also includes its regular features: a listing of IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes, information on the forthcoming IMF Economic Review and the Fourteenth Jacques Polack Annual Research Conference, and recommended readings from IMF Publications.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Jordan’s Seventh and Final Review Under the Stand-by Arrangement and Proposal for Post-program Monitoring. Jordan’s program has helped the economy weather different shocks. Performance has been good in the run-up to the final review. Although growth has been affected by regional tensions, the current account deficit is narrowing, foreign reserves remain at an adequate level, and inflation is low. All end-April performance criteria were met with comfortable margins, and policies are on track to meet their 2015 targets while fiscal structural reform is moving forward. The IMF staff supports the completion of the seventh review and the related purchase.
International Monetary Fund
This review assesses the experience gained to date in carrying out the longer-term program engagement (LTPE) policy and preparing the ex post assessments (EPAs). It discusses the main characteristics of LTPE members and the findings of the EPAs, analyzes the role of the EPAs in the Fund’s due diligence, and provides recommendations for improving their effectiveness.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Jordan has maintained macroeconomic stability and undertook significant policy adjustment against a difficult external environment, rising socio-economic tensions, high vulnerabilities, and the hosting of a large number of Syrian refugees. The economy still faces considerable challenges. Economic growth remains below potential, unemployment is high, particularly for youth and women, the refugee crisis is weighing on the economy and public finances, gross public debt has risen to about 93 percent of GDP, the current account deficit is high, and the regional outlook remains challenging.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

2017 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Jordan