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International Monetary Fund

This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that over the past three years, Syria has recovered from a half decade of weak growth, notwithstanding an unsettled regional environment and a sharp drop in oil production. The economic recovery has gained momentum, benefiting from inflows from Iraqi refugees and abundant liquidity in the Gulf region. Private investment has strengthened owing to an improved business climate, and exports have made strong gains, particularly in some Arab markets. The near-term outlook for growth and inflation is favorable.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The Syrian crisis and the associated inflow of refugees continue to dominate Lebanon’s short-term outlook, compounding long-standing policy weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Political paralysis has set in, with virtually no progress on the structural front. Growth has remained modest and insufficient to make a dent in rising poverty and unemployment. A welcome improvement in the primary fiscal position in 2014 was largely due to temporary factors, and will not be sustained absent adjustment efforts—implying that, without additional effort, Lebanon’s already-sizable public debt burden will only worsen. Financial conditions have nonetheless remained stable, as deposit inflows continue to fund the economy and sizeable buffers support the credibility of the exchange rate peg.
International Monetary Fund
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that over the past three years, Syria has recovered from a half decade of weak growth, notwithstanding an unsettled regional environment and a sharp drop in oil production. The economic recovery has gained momentum, benefiting from inflows from Iraqi refugees and abundant liquidity in the Gulf region. Private investment has strengthened owing to an improved business climate, and exports have made strong gains, particularly in some Arab markets. The near-term outlook for growth and inflation is favorable.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the various transmission channels of the Syrian crisis—though quantification is hampered by the lack of reliable data—with focus on the impact on fiscal performance and labor markets; it also takes stock of international donor efforts to date. The paper also provides overviews of main effects on Lebanon’s economy, the expenditure pressures associated with the refugee presence, the impact on poverty and inequality, and the added strains on labor markets. A section of the paper describes the response by the international community to help Lebanon cope with the Syrian crisis. Absent additional international support, the needs of both refugees and affected Lebanese communities will not be met. Sound government policies—including implementation of a concerted policy framework to deal with refugee issues and a commitment to fiscal discipline—will send credible signals to donors and help mobilize budget support. Tackling the unprecedented refugee crisis requires strong international support. There has been a large international humanitarian response, but much more is needed.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This study analyzes the circumstances under which monetary policy can be conducted to improve the stability of both monetary growth and exchange rates. For this purpose, the paper develops a portfolio balance model and tests its implications using parameter estimates for the United States and the United Kingdom. The principal finding is that there is a limited set of conditions in which stability of monetary growth and stability of exchange rates are consistent policy objectives. The two intervention rules compared here are stylized versions of rules that are commonly employed by central banks in countries with well-developed financial markets: control of the growth of the monetary base and control of a short-term interest rate. It is shown that a general rule is that when the supply function for money is more variable than the demand function, then monetary stability and exchange rate stability are likely to be operationally consistent targets.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
En mettant l’accent sur le travail du FMI et sur les grandes questions macroéconomiques et financières internationales, le Bulletin du FMI présente une analyse des développements nationaux, régionaux et mondiaux, des informations sur le travail, les politiques, les réformes et les activités d'assistance technique du FMI, les conclusions d'études de calibre mondial, des données essentielles qui ne sont souvent pas disponibles ailleurs, ainsi que des rapports sur les discussions économiques et financières au sein du FMI et ailleurs. Publié douze fois par an, ce bulletin de seize pages s'adresse à un large public : dirigeants, analystes, chercheurs, étudiants et journalistes. Disponible en anglais, français et espagnol.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
John Lipsky on IMF role; Liberia; Middle East outlook; Country briefs: Chile, Iceland; Ukraine reforms; Syria's oil crunch; Measuring sovereign risk; Maastricht inflation criterion; financial sector supervision; IMF bookstore; Nouriel Roubini.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
El Boletín del FMI aborda de manera específica el trabajo del FMI y los grandes temas macroeconómicos y financieros internacionales y ofrece análisis sobre la evolución en los distintos países y regiones y en el mundo; información sobre las operaciones, políticas, reformas y asistencia técnica del FMI; síntesis de las principales investigaciones económicas mundiales; datos fundamentales que no suelen estar disponibles en otras fuentes, e informes sobre debates económicos y financieros que tienen lugar dentro y fuera del FMI. Este boletín de 16 páginas, publicado 12 veces al año, está orientado a una vasta audiencia, que incluye autoridades de política económica, analistas, profesionales del mundo académico y de los medios de difusión y estudiantes. Disponible en inglés, español y francés.
Mr. A. J Hamann and Mr. Alessandro Prati
Many inflation stabilizations succeed only temporarily. Using a sample of 51 episodes of stabilization from inflation levels above 40 percent, we show that most of the failures are explained by bad luck, unfavorable initial conditions, and inadequate political institutions. The evolution of trading partners' demand and U.S. interest rates captures the effect of bad luck. Past inflation affects the outcome in two different ways: a long history of high inflation makes failure more likely, while a high level of inflation prior to stabilization increases the chances of success. Countries with short-lived political institutions, a weak executive authority, and proportional electoral rules also tend to fail. After controlling for all these factors, we find that exchange-rate-based stabilizations are more likely to succeed. These findings are robust across measures of failure (two dichotomous and one continuous), sample selection criteria, and estimation techniques, including Heckman's correction for the endogeneity of the anchor.