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International Monetary Fund

missed, but the following questions also matter: How many countries are attaining the goals, and how many are behind? Are lagging countries far from the goals? And how many are already close? Answers from available information are surprisingly hopeful. To examine them, we distinguish countries that are on target (or on track)—that is, their annual rate of progress between the reference year of MDGs in 1990 (or the closest available) to the latest year of data implies the right trajectory or trend to meet or exceed the goals—and those that are off target (or lagging

Mr. Akhtar Akhtar Hossain
This paper has examined the phenomenon of convergence of per capita output levels across regions of Bangladesh during 1982–97. The main finding is that most of the regions of Bangladesh experienced strong convergence of per capita output levels during 1982–91. There are two other findings within the domain of convergence. First, a few poorer regions of the country did not demonstrate any output convergence for the full or part of the sample period. Second, no evidence has been found for regional convergence of per capita output levels during 1991–97 that coincided with opening up the economy.
Ms. Ana Corbacho and Mr. Hamid R Davoodi
This paper analyzes Central America's track record on inequality, poverty, and quality of fiscal adjustment in relation to economic growth; health and education outcomes; adequacy of social safety nets; and governance. It then assesses the degree to which the track record can be traced to reforms in public expenditure and governance. Despite the considerable heterogeneity among the countries in the region, there are some policies that all countries need to pursue. Sustained growth and a better quality of fiscal adjustment are needed, as well as policies aimed at increasing individuals' productivity and improving governance.
Mr. Jeffrey R. Franks, Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, Mr. Rodolphe Blavy, William Oman, Hanni Schoelermann, and Mahmood Pradhan

, while supporting fiscal discipline in good times ( IMF, 2017b ). Any new central fiscal capacity should be complemented by reforms of the existing fiscal rules, making them simpler, more countercyclical in practice, and strengthening monitoring and compliance ( IMF, 2016a ; IMF, 2016b ). Expanded centrally-financed EU investment could raise potential growth in lagging countries ( IMF, 2017b ). As noted in IMF (2014) , higher public infrastructure investment through mechanisms such as EFSI and structural funds could raise growth in the short term by boosting

Mr. Jeffrey R. Franks, Ms. Bergljot B Barkbu, Mr. Rodolphe Blavy, William Oman, and Hanni Schoelermann
We examine economic convergence among euro area countries on multiple dimensions. While there was nominal convergence of inflation and interest rates, real convergence of per capita income levels has not occurred among the original euro area members since the advent of the common currency. Income convergence stagnated in the early years of the common currency and has reversed in the wake of the global economic crisis. New euro area members, in contrast, have seen real income convergence. Business cycles became more synchronized, but the amplitude of those cycles diverged. Financial cycles showed a similar pattern: sychronizing more over time, but with divergent amplitudes. Income convergence requires reforms boosting productivity growth in lagging countries, while cyclical and financial convergence can be enhanced by measures to improve national and euro area fiscal policies, together with steps to deepen the single market.