Before preparing a financial program or analyzing developments in a country, sufficient data on the economy’s past and expected performance are necessary. If the basis for the program or analysis is deficient, the program will probably not be well prepared and the objectives will not be achieved. All those data that may have an impact on the preparation of a program are needed. IMF missions are sometimes described as “hungry” for both statistics and data in general, but this hunger is logical, because before giving any advice or taking any decision, the mission must know what is happening in a country. The term “data” is used broadly here, meaning not only statistical information, but also details of pertinent legislation and of rules and regulations connected with the implementation of such legislation.
Many developing countries must rely on taxation of the agricultural sector for a significant part of government revenue. The author discusses the policy issues involved in designing an effective system of agricultural taxation.
In 2007, imports of consumer, intermediate, and capital goods grew at annual rates slightly exceeding 10 percent. Export growth lagged behind that of imports, as buoyant nontraditional exports, rising at a 16 percent annual rate, were offset by stagnant exports of the maquila sector. In particular, the discussions centered on (i) spillovers from the United States to El Salvador and the associated risks; (ii) the short-term fiscal stance and its consistency with medium-term fiscal objectives; and (iii) the internationalization of the Salvadoran banking system.
On November 4, Anne O. Krueger, professor of economics at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, gave the Annual Ernest Sturc Memorial Lecture at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C. The webcast of the address, entitled “Whither the World Bank and the IMF in the Twenty-First Century?” is available on the SAIS website (www.sais-jhu.edu).
Financial crises, particularly banking crises, have been common in recent years. While crises have occurred with somewhat greater frequency in developing and emerging market economies, industrial countries have not been spared either. Such crises impose significant costs on the economy. In the great majority of cases, for instance, banking crises are followed by recessions, with the cumulative loss in output sometimes running as high as 10 percent of GDP.