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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

2017 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Authorities of Bolivia

International Monetary Fund

Well-balanced macroeconomic policies, accompanied by an improvement in terms of trade during recent years, have allowed Bolivia to achieve very positive macroeconomic results. The 2012 Article IV Consultation highlights that the outlook for 2012 is favorable and short-term downside risks are manageable. Real gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to continue growing at a fast pace, reflecting still high terms of trade and mildly expansionary policies. The external current account and the fiscal balance are expected to remain in surplus.

International Monetary Fund

Bolivia showed a solid macroeconomic performance in recent years, owing to its strong trade and prudent economic policies. IMF staff stressed the need to tighten monetary conditions through increasing the policy interest rate as a means to combat inflation. The Executive Board praised authorities for their sound macroeconomic management, and concurred that structural reform and increased investment will enhance economic growth. However, the crisis management framework could be strengthened with a deposit insurance scheme to protect small depositors in the event of bank liquidation.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper on Bolivia reports that it has experienced major increases in its gas reserves, production, and exports. Not only have their levels increased significantly, but also there have been extensive regulatory changes, which range from the privatization of the mid-1990s to the increase in the government’s tax take from the hydrocarbons industry. The government has reached new agreements with foreign oil companies that will allow foreign companies to continue recovering part of their old investments.

International Monetary Fund

Bolivia has a long track record of substantial progress in the areas of macroeconomic stability and structural adjustment; however, poverty remains widespread. Although there were significant delays and setbacks in the execution of the structural adjustment program, some important advances were achieved, mainly in the areas of tax administration and budget management. The Bolivian authorities have developed a comprehensive poverty reduction strategy. The government’s medium-term economic program is designed to raise growth to 5 percent. Bolivia maintains an open exchange and trade system.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Bolivia has achieved strong economic performance and poverty reduction over the past decade. Real GDP growth has averaged about 5 percent since 2006, and the poverty ratio has declined by 16 percentage points. Real GDP growth is projected to stay relatively strong at 4.1 percent in 2015, despite the sharp decline in oil prices that is starting to have an impact. A sizable public investment budget, strong credit growth to the private sector, and robust private consumption are expected to support activity. Growth is expected to decelerate to 3.5 percent over the medium term, as the full impact of the new commodity price normal is felt.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights Bolivia's substantial economic and social progress, boosted by the commodity boom. Growth has been strong, averaging about 5 percent since 2006, and poverty has fallen by a third. During this time, the authorities built up sizable buffers and largely dedollarized the financial system. Real GDP growth is projected at 3.7 percent in 2016, which is still relatively strong by regional standards. In the medium term, growth is expected to converge toward 3.5 percent, consistent with the new commodity price normal, amid persistent twin deficits.

Jeffrey A. Katz

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Andrew K. Rose and Mark M. Spiegel*

One reason why countries service their external debts is the fear that default might lead to shrinkage of international trade. If so, then creditors should systematically lend more to countries with which they share closer trade links. We develop a simple theoretical model to capture this intuition, then test and corroborate this idea. [JELF15, F33]

J. LUIS GUASCH and THOMAS GLAESSNER