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Donald J. Mathieson

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that IMF activities in the first three months of 1977 were marked by a number of “firsts.” In addition to approving the largest stand-by arrangement in its history—the SDR 3.36 billion for the United Kingdom—the IMF welcomed its first new member of the year: Guinea-Bissau; held its first gold auction on behalf of the Trust Fund under the new schedule of monthly auctions; made its first loan disbursements as a Trustee of the Trust Fund; and held the first sale of gold for “restitution.”

José C. Sónchiz

“International Financial Statistics”—known wherever international monetary affairs are studied as IFS—is a compendium of information, issued monthly by the Fund. It is a major tool for understanding the international monetary system and the economic situation of individual countries.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; Staff Statement; and Statement by the Executive Director for Samoa

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on Samoa reports that remittances are the main source of foreign exchange to the Samoan economy. In addition to remittances, travel credits also play an important role in the economy. Official transfers are also significant, and should remain an important source of balance-of-payments support over the medium term. Remittances are relatively more stable when measured in the remitting country’s currency compared with talas. Remittance receipts account for a similar share of income across different household income groups, except for the richest one.
Yongzheng Yang, Hong Chen, Shiu raj Singh, and Baljeet Singh
This study aims to test within a relatively homogeneous group of small states what differentiates the growth performance of Pacific island countries (PICs) from their peers. We find that PICs are disadvantaged by distance and hampered by lower investment and exports compared with other small island states, but greater political stability, catch-up effects from lower initial incomes, and slower population growth have helped offset some of these disadvantages. On balance, policy-related factors, together with geography-related disadvantages, have led to growth rates in PICs that are much lower than in other small states. We also examine how real exchange rate appreciation, unfavorable developments in the external trade environment, and rising international transport costs may have contributed to PICs’ slower growth over the past decade.
Mr. Jonathan C Dunn, Mr. Matt Davies, Yongzheng Yang, Mr. Yiqun Wu, and Mr. Shengzu Wang
During the global financial crisis, central banks in Pacific island countries eased monetary policy to stimulate economic activity. Judging by the ensuing movements in commercial bank interest rates and private sector credit, monetary policy transmission appears to be weak. This is confirmed by an empirical examination of interest rate pass-through and credit growth. Weak credit demand and underdeveloped financial markets seem to have limited the effectiveness of monetary policy, but the inflexibility of exchange rates and rising real interest rates have also served to frustrate the central banks’ efforts despite a supporting fiscal policy. While highlighting the importance of developing domestic financial markets in the long run, this experience also points to the need to coordinate macroeconomic policies and to use all macroeconomic tools available in conducting countercyclical policies, including exchange rate flexibility.
International Monetary Fund

After a moderate recovery in 2010–11, the Samoan economy has shown signs of slowing down amid rising inflation. After two consecutive years of contraction, real GDP has expanded by 2 percent in 2010–11. The Central Bank of Samoa has maintained an accommodative monetary policy to support economic activity. However, continued structural reforms are required to lift Samoa’s economic growth and to ensure financial stability. Considerable progress has been made in tapping customary land for productive use.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper on Samoa reports that remittances are the main source of foreign exchange to the Samoan economy. In addition to remittances, travel credits also play an important role in the economy. Official transfers are also significant, and should remain an important source of balance-of-payments support over the medium term. Remittances are relatively more stable when measured in the remitting country’s currency compared with talas. Remittance receipts account for a similar share of income across different household income groups, except for the richest one.

International Monetary Fund

After a moderate recovery in 2010–11, the Samoan economy has shown signs of slowing down amid rising inflation. After two consecutive years of contraction, real GDP has expanded by 2 percent in 2010–11. The Central Bank of Samoa has maintained an accommodative monetary policy to support economic activity. However, continued structural reforms are required to lift Samoa’s economic growth and to ensure financial stability. Considerable progress has been made in tapping customary land for productive use.