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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
The staff report for Vanuatu’s 2009 Article IV Consultation discusses economic developments and policies. Vanuatu is well placed to take countercyclical measures should growth slow more than expected. Although close monitoring of banks is necessary given the rapid growth in the private sector credit last year, the wide differential in policy rates between Vanuatu and its major trading partners suggest that there is some scope for monetary easing if things deteriorate more than expected.
International Monetary Fund
This paper describes economic developments in Vanuatu during the first half of the 1990s. In 1995, economic growth recovered to more than 3 percent, following the slowdown in the previous year, owing to increased agricultural production, especially of copra and cocoa, and the growth in construction and tourism. Inflation remained below 2 percent, notwithstanding the impact of a new turnover tax on consumer prices, owing to a sharp reduction in import tariffs and a decline in rental prices. The overall fiscal deficit narrowed mainly owing to lower capital expenditure.
International Monetary Fund
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that Vanuatu’s real GDP growth rebounded to 2.4 percent in 2003, and the recovery continued in 2004 with growth of an estimated 3 percent. The improvement was bolstered by a strong supply response to a recovery in export prices and the liberalization of trading in two key exports (cocoa and copra), the discovery of new markets for kava following the ban by several countries in 2002, and higher tourist arrivals with an expansion in airline capacity to Vanuatu. Progress has also been made in strengthening Vanuatu’s financial sector.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Ryota Nakatani
A big challenge for the economic development of small island countries is dealing with external shocks. The Pacific Islands are vulnerable to natural disasters, climate change, commodity price changes, and uncertain donor grants. The question that arises is how should small developing countries formulate a fiscal policy to achieve economic stability and fiscal sustainability when prone to various shocks? We study how natural disasters affect long-term debt dynamics and propose fiscal policy rules that could help insulate the economy from such unexpected shocks. We propose fiscal rules to address these shocks and uncertainties using the example of Papua New Guinea. Our study finds the advantages of expenditure rules, especially a recurrent expenditure rule based on non-resource and non-grant revenue, interdependently determined by government debt and budget balance targets with expected disaster shocks. This paper contributes to the literature and policy dialogue by theoretically analyzing the impact of natural disasters on debt sustainability and proposing fiscal rules against natural disasters and climate changes. Our fiscal policy framework is practically applicable for many developing countries facing increasing frequency and impact of natural disasters and climate change. Our rules-based fiscal framework is crucial for sustainable and countercyclical macroeconomic policies to build resilience against devastating natural hazards.
Hidetaka Nishizawa, Mr. Scott Roger, and Huan Zhang
Pacific island countries (PICs) are vulnerable severe natural disasters, especially cyclones, inflicting large losses on their economies. In the aftermath of disasters, PIC governments face revenue losses and spending pressures to address post-disaster relief and recovery efforts. This paper estimates the effects of severe natural disasters on fiscal revenues and expenditure in PICs. These are combined with information on the frequency of large disasters to calculate the rate of budgetary savings needed to build appropriate fiscal buffers. Fiscal buffers provide self-insurance against natural disaster shocks and facilitate quick disbursement for recovery and relief efforts, and protection of spending on essential services and infrastructure. The estimates can provide a benchmark for policymakers, and should be adjusted to take into account other sources of financing, as well as budget risks from less severe as well as more frequent disasters.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper focuses on the reasons for the historically weak performance of Vanuatu. Among the key factors, growth has been hindered by substantial barriers to private sector development. Impediments include political uncertainty, high costs of doing business, poor and costly infrastructure, incomplete secured transactions framework, and weak land and property rights. Although these problems are not uncommon in the Pacific island region, Vanuatu’s progress in these structural reforms has been particularly slow, deterring foreign investment and reducing external competitiveness.

International Monetary Fund

This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that Vanuatu’s real GDP growth rebounded to 2.4 percent in 2003, and the recovery continued in 2004 with growth of an estimated 3 percent. The improvement was bolstered by a strong supply response to a recovery in export prices and the liberalization of trading in two key exports (cocoa and copra), the discovery of new markets for kava following the ban by several countries in 2002, and higher tourist arrivals with an expansion in airline capacity to Vanuatu. Progress has also been made in strengthening Vanuatu’s financial sector.

International Monetary Fund

Vanuatu showed signs of a moderate rebound in economic activity owing to its good macroeconomic fundamentals and a supportive international community. Executive Directors encouraged the authorities to tighten monetary policy in response to rising inflation pressures. They emphasized the need to strengthen fiscal buffers to safeguard the hard-earned fiscal soundness. Directors underscored the need to safeguard external buffers by maintaining an adequate level of foreign exchange reserves. They encouraged further efforts to strengthen the regulatory and supervisory framework that covers the whole financial system.