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. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Barbados’ deficit declined to 4.4 percent of GDP in 2016, about of half that in 2014, owing to lower energy prices and a recovery in export earnings. The current account deficit is projected to continue to narrow to 3.7 percent in 2017, and to 2.9 percent of GDP in 2018 as a result of lower imports, but continued weakness in the financial account and delayed privatization will contribute to weak reserves. The fiscal deficit is estimated to have declined to 5.5 percent of GDP in FY2016/17. The IMF staff project further progress in reducing the fiscal deficit, to 4.1 percent of GDP in FY2017/18 without divestment proceeds.
Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recovered relative to 2016, but the momentum is weak and per capita incomes are expected to barely increase. Further, vulnerabilities have risen in many countries, adding to the urgency of implementing the fiscal consolidations planned in most countries and with stepped up efforts to strengthen growth.