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International Monetary Fund

The Irish authorities are adopting consolidation measures to meet the original fiscal targets as well as implementing structural reforms in the labor market and sheltered sectors to enhance competitiveness. Strengthened euro area support for Ireland’s growth and debt sustainability would greatly reinforce prospects for Ireland to regain market access at an early stage given more adverse circumstances. Reports suggest that investors are differentiating Ireland based on its policy implementation track record and growth prospects. Vulnerabilities persist, however, as international demand for Irish bonds is sensitive to developments in the euro area.

International Monetary Fund

Limited progress has been made in addressing Nepal’s structural weaknesses in tax administration and public financial management. Macroeconomic performance under the recent Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)-supported program has been stable. The outlook for 2007–08 remains stable. Although the macroeconomic performance has been stable, progress on structural reforms has been held back by the fragile political circumstances. Public enterprises and the Nepal Oil Corporation, in particular, pursue quasi-fiscal activities involving significant subsidies. Nepal’s growth prospects depend most importantly on a peaceful political transition.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Financial Sector Assessment Program-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Republic of Armenia

International Monetary Fund
Overly expansionary macroeconomic policies contributed to a widening of current account deficits, an unsustainable buildup of public debt, and the erosion of international reserves. The Belize government has already made commendable strides in correcting macroeconomic imbalances, based on measures to increase tax collection, rein in discretionary current expenditure, and cut capital expenditure. However, these efforts alone are not sufficient to bring the public finances and the balance of payments back on a sustainable path; supportive structural reforms in the fiscal and monetary areas should be implemented.
International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the 2006 Article IV Consultation on Antigua and Barbuda highlights the economic backdrop and outlook for restoring sound public finances. The government of Antigua and Barbuda has adopted an ambitious reform program in its endeavor to pull the economy from decades of fiscal weakness and declining growth rates. The tax reform, including the imminent implementation of the value-added tax, is a major achievement. At the same time, it will be important to strengthen tax administration and tax compliance.
International Monetary Fund
Zambia’s nonperforming loans are expected to increase and banks have become more cautious in their lending. The staff report for the Zambia’s first and second reviews of the Three-Year Arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility and request for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria, and Augmentation of Access is examined. The slowdown in external demand and uncertainty about the global outlook have negatively affected growth prospects and the balance of payments, and made the program targets for reserve accumulation unattainable.
International Monetary Fund
This 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that despite frequent shocks and an uncertain policy environment in Vanuatu, macroeconomic stability has been maintained. Real GDP growth was 2½ percent in 2000 owing to an agriculture-led recovery. However, the economy contracted by 2 percent in 2001, owing to the effects of several major cyclones and a global downturn in agriculture and tourism. Inflation remained subdued, increasing from 2½ percent in 2000 to 3¾ percent in 2001. The current account surplus declined from 2 percent of GDP in 2000 to ¾ percent in 2001.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses a Detailed Assessment of the Observance of the IMF Code of Good Practices on Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies—Securities Regulation for Italy. The paper discusses that in the area of securities regulation, the objectives and responsibilities of the two supervisory authorities, namely Consob and the Banca d’Italia (BI), and the modalities of cooperation between them, are clearly established in the 1998 Consolidated Law. An area where further clarity may be warranted concerns the practical modalities of exchanging information with other domestic institutions.
International Monetary Fund
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that after a period of prolonged weakness in economic activity, persistent deflation and rising fiscal deficits, the macroeconomic outlook for Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has improved significantly since mid-2003. The recovery has gained significant momentum and become broad-based in 2004. The consolidated fiscal deficit for FY2004/05 is now projected at about 1¾ percent of GDP, compared with the budget target of about 5 percent of GDP. The improvement relative to the budget is on account of buoyant revenue performance and continued expenditure restraint.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Weak growth and underlying structural vulnerabilities persist in both Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Worsened macroeconomic conditions—reflecting the spillovers from one of Curaçao’s largest trading partners and the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Sint Maarten—make the need for policy adjustment and structural reforms aimed at ensuring fiscal sustainability, enhancing competitiveness, strengthening investor confidence, and developing capacity more urgent.