The past year was one of growing economic anxiety tied to skepticism about both economic integration and an international approach to economic policy making. To help make globalization work for all, the IMF focused on providing policy advice in many macro-critical areas.
Strengthening the capacity of institutions, such as central banks and finance ministries, results in more effective policies and greater economic stability and inclusion. That is why the IMF works with countries to strengthen these institutions by providing technical assistance and training focused on issues that are critical to economic stability.
ON TWO OCCASIONS during the decade of the 1950’s Japan was faced with a conflict between continuing economic expansion and the maintenance of equilibrium in the balance of payments. The economy has expanded rapidly since 1950. During the period 1950-58, the average annual rate of increase in output was over 8 per cent. However, in 1954 the increase slowed down to less than half that rate, and in 1958 to about one fourth, primarily because of measures taken by the authorities to restrain the tempo of domestic expansion. In both years, these measures were necessitated by serious external payments difficulties. In 1953, Japan had an over-all balance of payments deficit1 of $256 million, in contrast to an average annual surplus of about $300 million in 1951 and 1952. A surplus of $207 million in 1955 was more than halved in 1956, and in 1957 there was a deficit of $526 million (Table 1).
Through “surveillance,” the IMF oversees the international monetary system, monitors global economic developments, as well as engages in a health check of the economic and financial policies of its 189 member countries. In addition, the IMF highlights possible stability risks to its member countries and advises their governments on potential policy adjustments, enabling the international monetary system to achieve its goal of facilitating the exchange of goods, services, and capital among countries, thereby sustaining sound economic growth.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights that the annual meetings of the World Bank and its affiliates, the International Development Association (IDA) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and of the IMF, were held in September 1965 in Washington. At the Bank Group meetings, stress was laid on the urgent needs of the less developed countries and on the Group’s plans for increasing its help toward meeting these needs. In his annual address, the President of the three institutions, Mr. Woods, emphasized the widening spectrum of the World Bank’s lending.
What are fiscal policy rules? What are the principal benefits and drawbacks associated with various fiscal rules, particularly compared with alternative approaches to fiscal adjustment? Can fiscal rules contribute to long-run sustainability and welfare without sacrificing short-run stabilization? If so, what characteristics of fiscal rules make this contribution most effective? And in what circumstances and contexts, if any should the IMF encourage its member countries to adopt fiscal rules? This paper seeks to identify sensible fiscal policy rules that can succeed, if chosen by a member country, as an alternative to descretionary fiscal rules.
Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Christopher Faircloth, and Marijn Verhoeven
The June 2007 issue of F&D spotlights gender equality. The lead article discusses progress toward fulfilling the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on redressing gender discrimination and empowering women and related MDGs. The section also looks at how budgeting with gender issues in mind can help countries promote gender equality and what needs to be done to get girls from 'excluded' social groups into school. Other articles focus on Asia 10 years after the financial crisis, the implications of China's and India's growing ties with Africa, and making remittances work for Africa. 'Country Focus' looks at the challenges facing Bulgaria now that it has joined the European Union, 'Picture This' highlights the globalization of labor, and 'Back to Basics' gives a primer on microfinance. Two other pieces discuss the efficiency of public spending in Latin America and how countries can use the public sector balance sheet approach to diagnose vulnerabilities that are not immediately visible in the budget.