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International Monetary Fund

In 1994–98, Algeria was successful in restoring macroeconomic stability and implementing structural reforms. The fiscal position deteriorated in the first part of 1999, owing to low oil prices. Executive Directors supported the reform program introduced in early 2000, and welcomed its emphasis on accelerating reform of the banking and public sector companies but stressed the need for detailed implementation plans. The economic environment should be improved to promote private economic activity, including domestic and foreign investment. The authorities are urged to accelerate trade liberalization.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus reported to the IMF Executive Board on December 6 on the status of Russia’s economic program. (The full text of News Brief 99/81, issued on December 7, is available on the IMF’s website: http://www.imf.org.)

International Monetary Fund

The natural disasters that hit the country recently caused human losses and had a negative impact on the economy; however, they did not deviate the economic recovery path. Currently, growth in exports and imports is accelerating, remittances are recovering, and international reserves are well above end-2009 levels. The authorities have recently adopted regulations on liquidity and foreign currency credit risk management and have made further progress toward full provisioning of nonperforming loans. Finally, the IMF-supported program has also contributed to the achievement of their economic program goals.

International Monetary Fund

The Guatemalan economy is recovering faster than anticipated during the previous program review. The economic outlook has improved since the second program review. The fiscal deficit in 2010 will decline somewhat. There was agreement that a comprehensive tax reform remains the key medium-term challenge. There was agreement that monetary policy should remain vigilant. There has been progress in advancing financial sector reforms, but key elements of the reform agenda are pending. The near-term outlook has improved since the second program review, and downside risks have declined further.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses key findings of the First Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement for Macedonia. Macroeconomic performance of Macedonia remains strong. Through end-December 2005, the authorities met all of the program’s quantitative performance criteria. Growth has remained steady at about 4 percent. Gross reserves have risen above €1 billion, allowing interest rates on National Bank of Macedonia bills to fall since November from 10 percent to 7 percent. To complete the First Review, the authorities have committed to strong policies, including measures to correct for delays in the program’s structural reforms.

International Monetary Fund

Paraguay’s Fifth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement and Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria are discussed. The overall fiscal position remains in surplus, the exchange rate weakened slightly with respect to the U.S. dollar, but considerably with respect to the Brazilian real, and international reserves continue to rise. There have been delays in implementing the structural reform agenda. The authorities need to maintain momentum and deepen the structural agenda to reduce vulnerabilities, strengthen institutions, and lay the basis for growth.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper reviews economic developments in Peru during 1995–98. In July 1996, the Executive Board of the IMF approved a follow-up extended arrangement in support of Peru’s program for 1996–98. After a slowdown in 1996, economic activity picked up in 1997 while inflation declined significantly. The net official international reserves position strengthened further, and gross reserves reached the equivalent of close to eight months of imports of goods and services at end-1997. During 1996–97, Peru restructured the debt owed to foreign commercial and Paris Club bilateral creditors.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes developments in Croatia’s banking sector since independence in 1991, focusing on the effects of independence, war, transition, and the bank rehabilitation process. Changes in market structure, concentration, and ownership, as well as financial performance are highlighted. The paper reviews the current legal environment governing banking operations and improvements needed to strengthen the legislative framework. Some forward-looking conclusions are presented. The paper also examines selected aspects of Croatia’s export performance.

International Monetary Fund

The development of the Croatian financial sector has faced many of the difficulties experienced by other transition countries. Recent troubles have exacted a significant macroeconomic price but the strategy implemented by the Croatian National Bank (CNB) since the approval of the new banking law promises the early resolution of the more immediate problems. GDP at constant prices, trends in total labor costs, price developments, retail inflation rates, agricultural production, consolidated central government fiscal accounts, government employment, health insurance, disability and retirement insurance, and so on are presented in detail.

International Monetary Fund

This note compares patterns of domestic investment in Serbia with those in other central and eastern European countries, noting the relationships with external balances. The structure of participation and employment rates suggests a need for analysis of the impact of labor market institutions on youth and women. A further focus on redeployment services would be appropriate. The Serbian banking system, the implications of the structure of Serbia’s economy, the operational framework of monetary policy, and the adoption of an inflation targeting regime have been discussed.