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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Australia's economy is now facing a large transition as the mining investment boom winds down and the terms of trade has fallen back. Growth has been below trend for two years. Annualized GDP growth was about 2.2 percent in the first half of 2015, with particularly weak final domestic demand, and declining public and private investment. Capacity utilization and a soft labor market point to a sizeable output gap. Nominal wage growth is weak, contributing to low inflation. The FY2015/16 Budget projects a return to surplus in 2019-20.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Australia has enjoyed a robust economic performance despite the commodity price and mining investment bust. The moderate impact of the large shocks since 2011 reflects prompt monetary easing, a flexible exchange rate acting as a shock absorber, export orientation to the dynamic Asia region, flexible labor markets, relatively high population growth, and strong institutions. Nevertheless, Australia has also been confronted with symptoms of the 'new mediocre' since the Global Financial Crisis, including a downshift in average GDP growth. And with declining interest rates, already high house prices and household debt ratios have started to rise again.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This paper presents details of Austria’s 2013 Article IV Consultation. Austria has been growing economically but is facing challenges in the financial sector. Full implementation of medium-term fiscal adjustment plans require specifying several measures and plans that need gradual strengthening to take expected further bank restructuring cost into account. It suggests that strong early bank intervention and resolution tools, a better designed deposit insurance system, and a bank-financed resolution fund would help reduce the need for budgetary support to any troubled banks in the future.

JOHN CADY and JESUS GONZALEZ-GARCIA

The effects of the adoption of the IMF’s International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity Data Template on exchange rate volatility are investigated for 48 countries using panel data models and quarterly data from 1991 to 2005. In a model featuring significant relationships between nominal exchange rate volatility and fundamental macroeconomic variables, we find that the adoption of the reserves data dissemination standard is associated with a 20 percent decrease in volatility. Furthermore, adoption of the standard is also associated with changes in the relationships between exchange rate volatility and both indebtedness and reserve adequacy indicators. IMF Staff Papers (2007) 54, 741–754. doi:10.1057/palgrave.imfsp.9450025

International Monetary Fund

The fiscal crisis in the Kingdom of Swaziland emanating from a decline in revenue from the Southern African Customs Union and one of the largest public wage bills in sub-Saharan Africa has reached a critical stage. Faced with revenue shortfalls associated with slowing economic activity, uncontrolled public spending, and lack of financing, the authorities continued to deplete central bank reserves and accumulate domestic arrears. The authorities have been able to finance only a minimal amount of expenditure, including wages, utilities, and essential transfers.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper focuses on official intervention on the forward exchange market. The purpose is to provide a straightforward account of the theory of intervention and to use it to discuss the problems raised. The forward exchange market may be conveniently treated in terms of stocks rather than of flows; that is, the forward exchange rate is taken as reconciling the desires of market participants with respect to the holding—rather than the changing—of forward exchange positions. Official intervention in the forward exchange market can be analysed by regarding the authorities either as part of the market or as distinct from it. Official swap transactions are frequently undertaken not on the open market but by direct arrangement with foreign monetary authorities or with commercial banks. The substantial rise to be expected in the forward premium would, of course, have an adverse effect on the foreign balance, which might be unwelcome from a cyclical standpoint though it would probably merely involve a diminution in the improvement that would otherwise have occurred as a result of the recession.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus visited Moscow from March 27 to March 29 and met with Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov and other senior officials. On March 29, Camdessus and Primakov issued a joint communique, the text of which follows.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx