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International Monetary Fund

This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that macroeconomic outcomes for Antigua and Barbuda have strengthened significantly in recent years. Real GDP growth averaged 5 percent during 2003–05, and is estimated to have reached 12 percent in 2006. There has been progress in implementing broad structural reforms. On fiscal issues, the authorities intend to enhance revenue performance, including the introduction of a more flexible mechanism for retail fuel pricing in 2008. They also intend to improve the investment climate, reduce skill mismatches, exports, and deregulate telecommunications.

International Monetary Fund

This paper examines Bolivia’s Request for a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The Bolivian authorities have focused their efforts on restoring economic and social stability, strengthening the banking and corporate sectors, and establishing the basis for sustained growth. In support of their economic program for 2003, the authorities have requested an SBA equivalent to 50 percent of quota (SDR 86 million). At the same time, the authorities continue to develop a broader set of medium-term structural reforms, for which they plan to seek support through an arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility as soon as possible.

Mr. Harold James, Carmen M. Reinhart, Kenneth S. Rogoff, R. Glenn Hubbard, William Duggan, Simon Kuper, and Stefan Szymanski

Prize or Penalty: When Sports Help Economies Score" looks at why countries vie to host the world's most costly sporting events. And, in a series of articles on "After the Crisis," we discuss why some countries were hit harder than others; how were shocks transmitted round the world, and whether protectionist pressures might intensify in 2010. As usual, we take on a number of hot topics, including housing prices, bankers' bonuses, Ponzi schemes, and inflation targeting. In "Picture This" we see that the number of hungry is on the rise, topping 1 billion. Our regular "People in Economics" column profiles Daron Acemoglu, the Turkish-born intellectual who won the American Economic Association's award in 2005 for the most influential U.S. economist under the age of 40. "Back to Basics" explains inflation; and "Data Spotlight" looks at how dollarization is declining in Latin America. Also includes articles by Nick Stern on climate change and Simon Johnson on bonuses and the "doomsday cycle

International Monetary Fund

In this study, during 2008, the financial crisis lead Iceland’s public debt to soar from under 30 percent of GDP to more than 100 percent of GDP, and while underlying external debt came down sharply, it remains elevated at close to 300 percent of GDP. First, external sustainability is overviewed, and second, growth of Iceland’s economy has been challenged, and finally, fiscal adjustments and its macroeconomic impacts are overviewed. Traditional external debt sustainability analysis (DSA) suggests that Iceland’s external debt is sustainable but is vulnerable to depreciation shock.

International Monetary Fund

This paper examines Bolivia’s Request for a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The Bolivian authorities have focused their efforts on restoring economic and social stability, strengthening the banking and corporate sectors, and establishing the basis for sustained growth. In support of their economic program for 2003, the authorities have requested an SBA equivalent to 50 percent of quota (SDR 86 million). At the same time, the authorities continue to develop a broader set of medium-term structural reforms, for which they plan to seek support through an arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility as soon as possible.

Mr. Mark R. Stone
This paper summarizes the objectives, tasks, and modalities of large-scale, post-crisis corporate restructuring based on nine recent episodes with a view to organizing the policy choices and drawing some general conclusions. These episodes suggest that government-led restructuring efforts should integrate corporate and bank restructuring in a holistic and transparent strategy based on clearly defined objective and including sunset provisions.
International Monetary Fund
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that Japan’s economic recovery continued in 2003 and into the first part of 2004. For 2003, GDP growth reached 2½ percent, double the mid-year consensus forecast, and continued at about 6 percent on an annualized basis in the first quarter of 2004. As the economic recovery broadens further, real GDP is projected to expand by 4½ percent in 2004 and 2½ percent in 2005, with CPI deflation ebbing to zero by the end of this period.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on Pakistan reports that fiscal adjustment, supported by official and private inflows and debt relief, has led to a substantial improvement in public and external debt indicators. International reserves have recovered close to US$10 billion. Financial sector reforms have resulted in a healthy banking system. With these achievements, vulnerabilities have been greatly reduced, and Pakistan’s prospects look favorable. A continuation of prudent fiscal policies, as anchored by the financial responsibility law, is needed to ensure that debt ratios continue on their downward trajectory.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper focuses on Japan’s public debt and the challenges facing small- and medium-size enterprises in Japan. Historically, Japan’s public debt has been financed in a fairly smooth manner. The large pool of household savings and the stable domestic institutional investor base appear to have contributed to this successful experience. However, Japan is already undergoing rapid population aging, which will likely limit the market’s future absorptive capacity of public debt. In addition, structural shifts in institutional investors could also serve to reduce market demand.
International Monetary Fund
This 2002 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic growth of Korea rose to about 6 percent in 2002 from 3 percent in 2001. Buoyant consumption and residential construction spending underpinned the recovery beginning in late 2001. In 2002, exports rebounded strongly in spite of a weaker-than-expected recovery in the global economy. Unemployment has eased to near pre-crisis levels, although wage rises have been matched by productivity growth. In terms of macroeconomic policies, the fiscal surplus was substantially higher than budgeted, resulting in a contractionary fiscal stance in 2002.