The global financial crisis unmasked Serbia’s unsustainable pre-crisis growth model. Looking back, the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) provided effective insurance against a financial meltdown, initiated the needed re-balancing of the economy, but could not prevent large job losses. Looking ahead, the transition to a more sustainable growth model remains incomplete and fragile. The export-led recovery is expected to continue picking up steam, but labor market conditions will remain difficult. The current account deficit is expected to remain relatively high, requiring significant capital inflows to maintain external balance.
Pacific island countries are highly vulnerable to various natural disasters which are destructive, unpredictable and occur frequently. The frequency and scale of these shocks heightens the importance of medium-term economic and fiscal planning to minimize the adverse impact of disasters on economic development. This paper identifies the intensity of natural disasters for each country in the Pacific based on the distribution of damage and population affected by disasters, and estimates the impact of disasters on economic growth and international trade using a panel regression. The results show that “severe” disasters have a significant and negative impact on economic growth and lead to a deterioration of the fiscal and trade balance. We also find that the negative impact on growth is stronger for more intense disasters. Going further this paper proposes a simple and consistent method to adjust IMF staff’s economic projections and debt sustainability analysis for disaster shocks for the Pacific islands. Better incorporating the economic impact of natural disasters in the medium- and long-term economic planning would help policy makers improve fiscal policy decisions and to be better adapted and prepared for natural disasters.
This paper discusses Madagascar's Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) and Request for Disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). Madagascar's economic recovery has failed to gain momentum in 2015, largely due to external shocks, persistent political instability, and weak governance. Nonetheless, the authorities have implemented an adequate policy mix that has broadly maintained macroeconomic stability. In light of urgent balance of payments needs, the Malagasy authorities are requesting a second disbursement under the RCF, accompanied by a SMP. The IMF staff supports the authorities' request for a disbursement under the RCF based on the policy track record over the past six months.