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PREM C. GARG and SAMIR EL-KHOURI

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.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper discusses quantitative indicators that measure such macroeconomic variables as the growth of national product, inflation. The importance of considering several indicators in a dynamic context becomes particularly relevant during periods when needed economic and financial adjustment measures are undertaken. Rationales given for maintaining negative real interest rates in developing countries range from keeping down the cost of servicing the public sector’s debt, or of investment, to avoiding the consequences of other policies.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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.
International Monetary Fund
This paper assesses key aspects of Bulgaria’s competitiveness. The behavior of a variety of a real exchange rate indicators and export performance is also examined in this study. The Balassa–Samuelson effect refers to the impact of differential productivity growth rates in the tradables and nontradables sectors on the real exchange rate. The following statistical data are also included in detail: total and private agricultural production, income accounts, labor force, employment and unemployment, monetary survey, foreign assets of the banking system, and so on.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyses the impact of a potential rebalancing of Icelandic residents’ investment portfolios as capital controls are lifted. It applies optimal portfolio theory to calculate the potential rebalancing toward foreign assets, and then makes an estimate of the cumulative impact on the balance of payments and international reserves. Conclusions for the authorities’ capital account liberalization strategy are drawn. This paper also measures the potential budgetary savings from improving the efficiency of public spending in health and education in Iceland. A Data Envelopment Analysis is used to estimate an efficiency frontier by comparing across Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development countries the transformation rates of public spending into valuable social outcomes.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the August 2020 coup d’état have disrupted more than half a decade of strong economic performance, during which growth averaged 5 percent.1 Growth is projected to decline from 5 percent to -2 percent in 2020 both on account of the pandemic (reflecting a slowdown in external demand, travel, and FDI, as well as the impact of uncertainty and reduced mobility on domestic demand) and of post-coup disruptions in trade, transport, economic and financial flows following the sanctions imposed by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Inflation accelerated slightly in recent months but is expected to remain below 2 percent, while the current account deficit is projected to narrow due to higher gold prices (main export) and lower oil prices (main import). Risks around the outlook are exceptionally high in light of the uncertainty surrounding the political transition, the impact of the sanctions on trade and overall activity, and continued deterioration in the security situation. Weak social safety nets amid high informality, food insecurity and a fragile healthcare system exacerbate challenges.
International Monetary Fund
The first analysis focuses on external stability, an important issue in view of Croatia’s external imbalances and the requirements of the IMF’s 2007 Decision on Bilateral Surveillance. The paper shows that the real exchange rate is broadly in line with economic fundamentals and that external debt dynamics are sustainable as long as macroeconomic policies remain strong. The second analysis finds significant inefficiencies in Croatia’s social spending. It also discusses several reform measures to reduce inefficiencies in public spending and generate budgetary savings to reduce the general government deficit.
International Monetary Fund
The paper assesses key aspects of Bulgaria's competitiveness. The challenge is to stay on course and persist with policies that will maintain and strengthen competitiveness. Implementation of the ambitious reform policy with respect to the pension and health care systems is required. The reasons for and implications of low bank credit to the private sector in Bulgaria, and measures to facilitate prudent credit growth are discussed. The statistical data on the economic indices of Bulgaria are also presented in the paper.
International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) on the Republic of Croatia highlights fiscal policy and monetary and financial sector policies. The policy implementation under this SBA has yielded sizable fiscal consolidation and advances in structural reforms, despite some snags. The authorities have taken a number of measures to discourage external borrowing, address foreign currency-related credit risk, and strengthen supervision. The health reform aims at improving the financial situation in the sector and rationalizing public spending on health.