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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This paper examines the selected issues related to the economy of Denmark: divergence in house prices, house prices in Denmark's cities, macroprudential policies, and product market reform and firm productivity. Recent house price developments in Denmark have been characterized by a growing divergence between different parts of the country, with big cities experiencing much more rapid price increases than other parts. House price booms and busts in Denmark, like in many other countries, are a big-city phenomenon. Macroprudential policies can help contain risks for households, the financial system, and the broader economy, but they should be carefully calibrated to avoid an undue drag on growth.

Alessandro Leipold and Mr. Martin Fetherston

Iceland’s 2005 Article IV Consultation reports that new projects have rekindled rapid growth and the economy is exhibiting signs of overheating, with imbalances evident in inflation, the current account, and external debt. GDP grew at an average rate of 3.8 percent between 1995 and 2004, second only to Ireland among industrial countries. Major investment projects have contributed both to the high growth rate and to overall macroeconomic volatility because of their size relative to that of the economy.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper provides a brief overview of the latest research on the ability of forecasters to predict recessions. The paper highlights that few recessions have been forecast before their onset. Forecasters tend to be excessively cautious and do not revise their forecasts promptly and sufficiently to reflect incoming news. Nor do they fully take into account interdependence among economies. This paper also focuses on robust growth determinants highlighting that a fundamental problem confronting researchers is the lack of an explicit theory identifying the determinants of growth.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Note discusses the findings and recommendations made in the Financial Sector Assessment Program for Sweden in the areas of the systemic risk oversight framework and management. To promote accountability, the law should clarify the allocation of macroprudential powers between the government and the Finansinspektionen (Financial Supervisory Authority, FI) and grant the FI a clear legal mandate for macroprudential policy, with full operational independence. The Financial Stability Council, or a similar body—excluding the Ministry of Finance—should have the legal authority to issue recommendations, preferably with a “comply or explain” approach. The law should also ensure that the Sveriges Riksbank’s expertise in financial stability analysis finds a clear institutional role in the oversight of systemic risk.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2013 Article IV consultation highlights Australia’s below-trend GDP growth and the beginning of the decline of the investment phase of the mining boom, which has passed its peak. A key issue now is how Australia can manage the mining-production/export phase and encourage broader-based growth. The main external risks include a slowdown in China over the medium term and surges in global financial market volatility. The pickup in housing market activity, though welcome to date, could pose a future risk if prices accelerate and lead to overshooting. The financial sector is resilient and has strengthened in recent years, although banks’ reliance on offshore funding will continue. The emphasis on tight lending standards and intensive supervision should help limit financial sector risks.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper estimates a dynamic model of foreign currency loans to households in Austria to analyze their behavior and assess the effectiveness of measures intended to stem their rise. This paper also studies the developments in Austria’s economic linkages with Germany and the Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs). It finds that there has been delinking from Germany, albeit measured, while economic relationships with key CEEC trading partners have become stronger. The paper also discusses the dynamics of Austria’s economic linkages with Germany, and examines these linkages with the CEECs.
International Monetary Fund
New Zealand has experienced a decade-long robust economic expansion, owing to its sound macroeconomic policies and structural reforms, but resource constraints have emerged. Executive Directors welcomed the policy settings, supported by the anticipated evolution of external and global developments. They noted that fiscal policy and tightened stance of monetary policy are appropriate. Directors noted that the financial sector remains sound. They also welcomed the steps taken by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to review its liquidity policy for banks to encourage the diversification of funding sources.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper analyzes whether cyclical factors, including the large real exchange rate appreciation in recent years in New Zealand, can account for the rapidity of the recent rise in import penetration, or whether more lasting structural changes, such as the effects of globalization, may have played a role. The paper also looks at New Zealand’s vulnerabilities from two angles. It evaluates the external position of the country, and then assesses the health and soundness of various sectors of the economy by looking at their balance sheets and the key vulnerability indicators.
International Monetary Fund
Over the past several years, Nepal has pursued a prudent fiscal policy, which has resulted in a significant reduction of public debt as a percentage of GDP. This paper reexamines the fiscal stance in Nepal in light of recent developments. The optimal level of the fiscal deficit is constrained by the need to achieve and sustain a debt-to-GDP ratio with an acceptable level of vulnerability to distress. The debt sustainability analyses (DSA) framework focuses on the net present value (NPV) of external public and publicly guaranteed debt, though public debt is also analyzed.
International Monetary Fund
Korea’s rapid recovery from the global downturn has transitioned into a full-fledged expansion. Policies to strengthen the resilience of the economy and pave the way for sustained and equitable growth is required. Greater two-way flexibility of the exchange rate is needed to support the monetary policy response to inflation and help alleviate capital inflow pressures. Enhancing the overall macroeconomic and financial policy framework will bolster the resilience of the economy to shocks. Housing policies in the macrofinancial framework will contain leverage and prevent asset price bubbles.