Abstract

This report overviews countries fiscal actions in response to COVID-19 and discusses how governments policies should adapt to get ahead of the pandemic and set the stage for a greener, fairer, and more durable recovery. Global vaccination should be scaled up as it can save lives and will eventually pay for itself with stronger employment and economic activity. Until the pandemic is brought under control globally, fiscal policies must remain flexible and supportive, while keeping debt at a manageable level over the long term. Governments also need to adopt comprehensive policies, embedded in medium-term frameworks, to tackle inequalities—especially in access to basic public services—that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and may cause income gaps to persist. Investing in education, healthcare and early childhood development and strengthening social safety nets financed through improved tax capacity and higher progressivity, can strengthen lifetime opportunities, improve trust, and contribute to more social cohesion.

Economy Abbreviations

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Glossary

Accelerated depreciation deductions Tax measures that reduce the taxable income of a firm, by allowing for greater deductions for depreciation of an asset (e.g., machinery) in its earlier years of use.

Automatic stabilizers Revenue and some expenditure items that adjust automatically to cyclical changes in the economy—for example, as output falls, revenue collections decline and unemployment benefits increase, which “automatically” provides demand support.

Balance sheet Statement of the values of the stock positions of assets owned and liabilities owed by a unit, or group of units, drawn up in respect of a particular point in time.

Contingent liabilities Obligations that are not explicitly recorded on government balance sheets and that arise only in the event of a particular discrete situation, such as a crisis.

Countercyclical fiscal policy Active changes in expenditure and tax policies to smooth the economic cycle (by contrast with the operation of automatic stabilizers); for instance, by cutting taxes or raising expenditures during an economic downturn.

Coverage of public benefits Share of individuals or households of a particular socioeconomic group who receive a public benefit.

Cyclically adjusted balance (CAB) Difference between the overall balance and the automatic stabilizers; equivalently, an estimate of the fiscal balance that would apply under current policies if output were equal to potential.

Cyclically adjusted primary balance (CAPB) Cyclically adjusted balance excluding net interest payments (interest expenditure minus interest revenue).

Equity injections by the public sector Purchase of shares (ownership) of a firm by governments or public corporations, to provide it with the required capital to continue operations.

Fiscal buffer Fiscal space created by saving budgetary resources and reducing public debt in good times.

Fiscal multiplier Measures the short-term impact of discretionary fiscal policy on output. Usually defined as the ratio of a change in output to an exogenous change in the fiscal deficit with respect to their respective baselines.

General government All government units and all nonmarket, nonprofit institutions that are controlled and mainly financed by government units comprising the central, state, and local governments; includes social security funds and does not include public corporations or quasi corporations.

Government guarantees Government can provide coverage on the potential losses of the liabilities incurred by banks, firms, or households. They usually have no immediate upfront cost in the form of deficit or debt unless the expected cost is budgeted, but they create a contingent liability, with the government exposed to future calls on guarantees and fiscal risks.

Gross debt All liabilities that require future payment of interest and/or principal by the debtor to the creditor. This includes debt liabilities in the form of special drawing rights, currency, and deposits; debt securities; loans; insurance, pension, and standardized guarantee programs; and other accounts payable. (See the IMF’s 2001 Government Finance Statistics Manual and Public Sector Debt Statistics Manual.) The term “public debt” is used in the Fiscal Monitor, for simplicity, as synonymous with gross debt of the general government, unless specified otherwise. (Strictly speaking, public debt refers to the debt of the public sector as a whole, which includes financial and nonfinancial public enterprises and the central bank.)

In-kind benefits/transfers Government social assistance provided in terms of specific goods (e.g., food) or services (e.g., healthcare) instead of cash.

Job retention schemes Government programs that provide payments to employers to retain current employees, either part or full time. The payments typically cover part or all of an employees’ hours worked, or top up an employees’ pay for hours reduced (i.e., lost wages).

Liquid assets Assets that can be readily converted to cash.

Net debt Gross debt minus financial assets corresponding to debt instruments. These financial assets are monetary gold and special drawing rights; currency and deposits; debt securities; loans, insurance, pensions, and standardized guarantee programs; and other accounts receivable. In some countries, the reported net debt can deviate from this definition based on available information and national fiscal accounting practices.

Output gap Deviation of actual from potential GDP, in percent of potential GDP.

Overall fiscal balance (also “headline” fiscal balance) Net lending and borrowing, defined as the difference between revenue and total expenditure, using the IMF’s 2001 Government Finance Statistics Manual (GFSM 2001). Does not include policy lending. For some countries, the overall balance is still based on the GFSM 1986, which defines it as total revenue and grants minus total expenditure and net lending.

Potential output Estimate of the level of GDP that can be reached if the economy’s resources are fully employed.

Primary balance Overall balance excluding net interest payments (interest expenditure minus interest revenue).

Progressive (or regressive) taxes Taxes that feature an average tax rate that rises (or falls) with income.

Public debt See gross debt.

Public sector Includes all resident institutional units that are deemed to be controlled by the government. It includes general government and resident public corporations.

Quasi-fiscal activities Non-commercial activities (such as subsidies or loans) undertaken by public corporations (such as state-owned enterprises or banks) on behalf of the government, outside their regular mandate.

Social insurance Programs aimed at protecting households from shocks that can adversely impact their incomes and welfare; typically financed by contributions or payroll taxes.

Social protection Comprise social insurance and social safety nets.

Social safety nets Noncontributory transfer programs financed by general government revenue.

Structural primary balance Extension of the cyclically adjusted primary balance that also corrects for other nonrecurrent effects that go beyond the cycle, such as one-of operations and other factors whose cyclical fluctuations do not coincide with the output cycle (for instance, asset and commodity prices and output composition effects).

Wage subsidies Government payments to workers or their employers to incentivize employers to recruit or retain (often disadvantaged) workers.

Methodological and Statistical Appendix

This appendix comprises four sections. “Data and Conventions” provides a general description of the data and conventions used to calculate economy group composites. “Fiscal Policy Assumptions” summarizes the country-specific assumptions underlying the estimates and projections for 2021–26. “Definition and Coverage of Fiscal Data” summarizes the classification of countries in the various groups presented in the Fiscal Monitor and provides details on the coverage and accounting practices underlying each country’s Fiscal Monitor data. Statistical tables on key fiscal variables complete the appendix. Data in these tables have been compiled based on the information available through March 23, 2021.

Data and Conventions

Country-specific data and projections for key fiscal variables are based on the April 2021 World Economic Outlook database, unless indicated otherwise, and compiled by IMF staff. Historical data and projections are based on information gathered by IMF country desk officers in the context of their missions and through their ongoing analysis of the evolving situation in each country; they are updated on a continual basis as more information becomes available. Structural breaks in data may be adjusted to produce smooth series through splicing and other techniques. IMF staff estimates serve as proxies when complete information is unavailable. As a result, Fiscal Monitor data may differ from official data in other sources, including the IMF’s International Financial Statistics and Government Financial Statistics.

Sources for fiscal data and projections not covered by the World Economic Outlook database are listed in the respective tables and fgures.

The country classification in the Fiscal Monitor divides the world into three major groups: 39 advanced economies, 96 emerging market and middle-income economies, and 59 low-income developing countries. Fiscal Monitor tables display 35 advanced economies, 40 emerging market and middle-income economies, and 40 low-income developing countries. The countries in the tables generally represent the largest countries within each group based on the size of their GDP in current US dollars. Data for full list of economies can be found here: https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/datasets/FM. The seven largest advanced economies as measured by GDP (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States) constitute the subgroup of major advanced economies, often referred to as the Group of Seven. The members of the euro area are also distinguished as a subgroup. Composite data shown in the tables for the euro area cover the current members for all years, even though the membership has increased over time. Data for most European Union member countries have been revised following the adoption of the new European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010). Low-income developing countries are countries that have per capita income levels below a certain threshold (currently set at $2,700, as of 2016, as measured by the World Bank’s Atlas method), structural features consistent with limited development and structural transformation, and external financial linkages insufficiently open to be considered as emerging market economies. Emerging market and middle-income economies include those not classified as advanced economies or low-income developing countries. See Table A, “Economy Groupings,” for more details.

Most fiscal data refer to the general government for advanced economies, while for emerging market and developing economies, data often refer to the central government or budgetary central government only (for specific details, see Tables BD). All fiscal data refer to calendar years, except in the cases of The Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Botswana, Dominica, Egypt, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Haiti, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Jamaica, Lesotho, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Micronesia, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Pakistan, Palau, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, St. Lucia, Samoa, Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, and Trinidad and Tobago, for which they refer to the fiscal year. For economies whose fiscal years end before June 30, data are recorded in the previous calendar year. For economies whose fiscal years end on or after June 30, data are recorded in the current calendar year.

Composite data for country groups are weighted averages of individual-country data, unless specified otherwise. Data are weighted by annual nominal GDP converted to US dollars at average market exchange rates as a share of the group GDP.

For the purpose of data reporting in the Fiscal Monitor, the Group of 20 member aggregate refers to the 19 country members and does not include the European Union.

In the majority of advanced economies, and some large emerging market and middle-income economies, fiscal data follow the IMF’s 2014 Government Finance Statistics Manual (GFSM 2014) or are produced using national accounts methodology that follow the System of National Accounts 2008 (SNA 2008) or ESA 2010, both of which are broadly aligned with the GFSM 2014. Most other countries follow the GFSM 2001, but some countries, including a significant proportion of low-income developing countries, have fiscal data that are based on the 1986 GFSM. The overall fiscal balance refers to net lending (+) and borrowing (-) of the general government. In some cases, however, the overall balance refers to total revenue and grants minus total expenditure and net lending.

The fiscal gross and net debt data reported in the Fiscal Monitor are drawn from official data sources and IMF staff estimates. While attempts are made to align gross and net debt data with the definitions in the GFSM, as a result of data limitations or specific country circumstances, these data can sometimes deviate from the formal definitions. Although every effort is made to ensure the debt data are relevant and internationally comparable, differences in both sectoral and instrument coverage mean that the data are not universally comparable. As more information becomes available, changes in either data sources or instrument coverage can give rise to data revisions that are sometimes substantial.

As used in the Fiscal Monitor, the term “country” does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but whose statistical data are maintained on a separate and independent basis.

Australia: For cross-economy comparability, gross and net debt levels reported by national statistical agencies for economies that have adopted the 2008 System of National Accounts (2008 SNA—Australia, Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, United States) are adjusted to exclude unfunded pension liabilities of government employees’ defined-benefit pension plans.

Bangladesh: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Brazil: General government data refer to the non-financial public sector—which includes the federal, state, and local governments, as well as public enterprises (excluding Petrobras and Eletrobras)—and are consolidated with those for the sovereign wealth fund. Revenue and expenditures of federal public enterprises are added in full to the respective aggregates. Transfers and withdrawals from the sovereign wealth fund do not affect the primary balance. Disaggregated data on gross interest payments and interest receipts are available only from 2003 onward. Before 2003, total revenue of the general government excludes interest receipts; total expenditure of the general government includes net interest payments. Gross public debt includes the Treasury bills on the central bank’s balance sheet, including those not used under repurchase agreements. Net public debt consolidates nonfinancial public sector and central bank debt. The national def-nition of general government gross debt excludes government securities held by the central bank, except the stock of Treasury securities used for monetary policy purposes by the central bank (those pledged as security reverse repurchase agreement operations). According to this national definition, gross debt amounted to 88.8 percent of GDP at the end of 2020.

Canada: For cross-economy comparability, gross and net debt levels reported by national statistical agencies for economies that have adopted the 2008 SNA (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, United States) are adjusted to exclude unfunded pension liabilities of government employees’ defined-benefit pension plans.

Chile: Cyclically adjusted balances refer to the structural balance, which includes adjustments for output and commodity price developments.

China: Public debt data include central government debt as reported by the Ministry of Finance, explicit local government debt, and shares based on estimates from the National Audit Office estimate—of contingent liabilities the government may incur. IMF staff estimates exclude central government debt issued for the China Railway Corporation. Relative to the authorities’ definition, consolidated general government net borrowing includes (1) transfers to and from stabilization funds; (2) state-administered funds, state-owned enterprise funds, and social security contributions and expenses; and (3) some of-budget spending by local governments. Deficit numbers do not include some expenditure items, mostly infrastructure investment financed of budget through land sales and local government financing vehicles. Fiscal balances are not consistent with reported debt, because no time series of data in line with the National Audit Office debt definition is published officially.

Colombia: Gross public debt refers to the combined public sector, including Ecopetrol and excluding Banco de la República’s outstanding external debt.

Dominican Republic: The fiscal series have the following coverage: the public debt, debt service, and cyclically adjusted or structural balances are for the consolidated public sector (which includes the central government, the rest of the nonfinancial public sector, and the central bank); and the remaining fiscal series are for the central government.

Egypt: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Ethiopia: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Greece: General government gross debt follows the Maastricht definition, and includes short-term debt and loans of state-owned enterprises.

Haiti: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: Data are on a fiscal year basis. Cyclically adjusted balances include adjustments for land revenue and investment income. For cross-economy comparability, gross and net debt levels reported by national statistical agencies for countries that have adopted the 2008 SNA (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, United States) are adjusted to exclude unfunded pension liabilities of government employees’ defined-benefit pension plans.

Iceland: Gross debt excludes insurance technical reserves (including pension liabilities) and other accounts payable.

India: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Islamic Republic of Iran: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Ireland: General government balances for 2012 reflect the impact of banking sector support. Fiscal balance, estimates excluding these measures, are -7.9 percent of GDP for 2012. For 2015, if the conversion of the government’s remaining preference shares to ordinary shares in one bank is excluded, the fiscal balance is -1.1 percent of GDP. Cyclically adjusted balances reported in Tables A3 and A4 exclude financial sector support measures. Ireland’s 2015 national accounts were revised as a result of restructuring and relocation of multinational companies, which resulted in a level shift of nominal and real GDP. For more information, see “National Income and Expenditure Annual Results 2015.” http://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/nie/nationalincomeandexpenditureannualresults2015/.

Japan: Gross debt is on an unconsolidated basis.

Latvia: The fiscal deficit includes bank restructuring costs and thus is higher than the deficit in official statistics.

Mexico: General government refers to the central government, social security funds, public enterprises, development banks, the national insurance corporation, and the National Infrastructure Fund, but excludes subnational governments.

Myanmar: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Nepal: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Norway: Cyclically adjusted balances correspond to the cyclically adjusted non-oil overall or primary balance. These variables are in percent of non-oil potential GDP.

Pakistan: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Peru: Cyclically adjusted balances include adjustments for commodity price developments.

Singapore: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Spain: Overall and primary balances include finan-cial sector support measures estimated to be 3.7 percent of GDP for 2012, 0.3 percent of GDP for 2013, 0.1 percent of GDP for 2014, 0.1 percent of GDP for 2015, and 0.2 percent of GDP for 2016.

Sweden: Cyclically adjusted balances take into account output and employment gaps.

Switzerland: Data submissions at the cantonal and commune levels are received with a long and variable lag and are subject to sizable revisions. Cyclically adjusted balances include adjustments for extraordinary operations related to the banking sector.

Tailand: Data are on a fiscal year basis.

Turkey: The fiscal projections assume a more negative primary and overall balance than envisaged in the authorities’ New Economic Program 2021–23 (September 2020), partly due to the deterioration in the growth outlook related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and partly due to definitional differences. The basis for the projections in the World Economic Outlook and Fiscal Monitor is the IMF-defined fiscal balance, which excludes some revenue and expenditure items included in the authorities’ headline balance.

United States: Cyclically adjusted balances exclude financial sector support estimated at 0.1 percent of potential GDP for 2012, and 0.0 percent of potential GDP for 2013. For cross-economy comparability, expenditure and fiscal balances of the United States are adjusted to exclude the imputed interest on unfunded pension liabilities and the imputed compensation of employees, which are counted as expenditures under the 2008 SNA adopted by the United States, but not for countries that have not yet adopted the 2008 SNA. Data for the United States may thus differ from data published by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). In addition, gross and net debt levels reported by the BEA and national statistical agencies for other economies that have adopted the 2008 SNA (Australia, Canada, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) are adjusted to exclude unfunded pension liabilities of government employees’ defined-benefit pension plans.

Uruguay: Data are for the nonfinancial public sector (NFPS), which includes the central government, the local government, social security funds, nonfnan-cial public corporations, and Banco de Seguros del Estado. The coverage of fiscal data was changed from the consolidated public sector to the NFPS with the October 2019 submission. Because of this narrower coverage, central bank balances are not included in the fiscal data.

Venezuela: Fiscal accounts include the budgetary central government; social security funds; FOGADE (insurance deposit institution); and a sample of public enterprises, including Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). Data for 2018–19 are IMF staff estimates.

Fiscal Policy Assumptions

Historical data and projections of key fiscal aggregates are in line with those of the April 2021 World Economic Outlook, unless noted otherwise. For underlying assumptions other than on fiscal policy, see the April 2021 World Economic Outlook.

Short-term fiscal policy assumptions are based on officially announced budgets, adjusted for differences between the national authorities and IMF staff regarding macroeconomic assumptions and projected fiscal outturns. Medium-term fiscal projections incorporate policy measures that are judged likely to be implemented. When IMF staff have insufficient information to assess the authorities’ budget intentions and prospects for policy implementation, an unchanged structural primary balance is assumed, unless indicated otherwise.

Argentina: Fiscal projections are based on the available information regarding budget outturn and budget plans for the federal and provincial governments, fiscal measures announced by the authorities, and IMF staff projections.

Australia: Fiscal projections are based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the fiscal year 2020/21 midyear Economic and Fiscal Outlook of the Commonwealth and government, the fiscal year 2020/21 budget published by each state/territory government, and IMF staff estimates and projections.

Austria: Fiscal projections are based on data from Statistics Austria, the authorities’ projections, and IMF staff estimates and projections.

Belgium: Projections are based on the 2020–21 Stability Programme, the Draft Budgetary Plan 2020, the 2021 budget, and other available information on the authorities’ fiscal plans, with adjustments for IMF staff assumptions.

Brazil: Fiscal projections for 2021 reflect policy announcements as of March 12, 2021. Medium-term projections reflect full compliance with Brazil’s constitutional expenditure ceiling.

Cambodia: Historical fiscal and monetary data are from the Cambodian authorities. Projections are based on the IMF staff assumptions following discussions with the authorities.

Canada: Projections use baseline forecasts from the Fall Economic Statement 2020, and the most recent provincial budgets available. The IMF staff makes some adjustments to this forecast, including for differences in macroeconomic projections. The IMF staff forecast also incorporates the most recent data releases from Statistics Canada’s Canadian System of National Economic Accounts, including federal, provincial, and territorial budgetary outturns through the third quarter of 2020.

Chile: Projections are based on the authorities’ quarterly fiscal reports, adjusted to reflect IMF staff projections for GDP and copper prices.

China: After a large fiscal expansion in 2020, a mild tightening is projected for 2021 based on government policy announcements.

Colombia: Projections are based on the authorities’ policies and projections reflected in the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework 2019, adjusted to reflect IMF staff macroeconomic assumptions.

Croatia: Projections are based on the macroeco-nomic framework and the authorities’ medium-term fiscal guidelines.

Cyprus: Projections are based on IMF staff assessments of authorities’ budget plans and IMF staff macroeconomic assumptions.

Czech Republic: Projections are based on the authorities’ budget forecast for 2018–19, with adjustments for IMF staff macroeconomic projections. Projections for 2019 onward are based on the country’s Convergence Programme and Fiscal Outlook.

Denmark: Estimates for 2020 are aligned with the latest official budget numbers, adjusted where appropriate for IMF staff macroeconomic assumptions. For 2020, the projections incorporate key features of the medium-term fiscal plan as embodied in the authorities’ latest budget.

Egypt: Fiscal projections are mainly based on budget sector operations. Projections are based on the budget for the fiscal year 2020/21 and the IMF’s macroeco-nomic outlook.

Estonia: The forecast incorporates the authorities’ approved supplementary budget for 2020, adjusted for newly available information and for IMF staff’s macro-economic scenario.

Finland: Projections are based on the authorities’ announced policies, adjusted for the IMF staff macro-economic scenario.

France: Estimates for 2020 and projections for 2021 onward are based on the measures of the 2018, 2019, and 2020 budget laws; the four amending budget laws voted in 2020; the draft 2021 budget laws, adjusted for differences in assumptions on macroeconomic and financial variables; and revenue projections.

Germany: IMF staff estimates and projections for 2021 and beyond are based on the 2021 budgets and data updates from the national statistical agency and Ministry of Finance, adjusted for the differences in IMF staff macroeconomic framework and assumptions concerning revenue elasticities. The projections do not reflect the 2021 supplementary budget or draft 2022 federal budget. The estimate of gross debt includes portfolios of impaired assets and noncore businesses transferred to institutions that are winding up, as well as other financial sector and European Union support operations.

Greece: Greece’s general government primary balance estimate for 2020 is based on the preliminary budget execution data by the Greek authorities. Historical data since 2011 reflect adjustments in line with the primary balance definition under the enhanced surveillance framework for Greece.

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: Projections are based on the authorities’ medium-term fiscal projections on expenditure.

Hungary: Fiscal projections include IMF staff projections of the macroeconomic framework and fiscal policy plans announced in the 2020 budget.

India: Historical data are based on budgetary execution data. Projections are based on available information on the authorities’ fiscal plans, with adjustments for IMF staff assumptions. Subnational data are incorporated with a lag of up to one year; general government data are thus finalized well after central government data. IMF and Indian presentations differ, particularly regarding divestment and license auction proceeds, net versus gross recording of revenues in certain minor categories, and some public sector lending.

Indonesia: Fiscal projections are consistent with a gradual unwinding of the large fiscal stimulus in 2020, including returning the fiscal deficit to below 3 percent of GDP by 2023.

Ireland: Fiscal projections are based on the country’s Budget 2021 and Stability Programme Update 2020.

Israel: Historical data are based on Government Finance Statistics data prepared by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Projections are based on figures from the Ministry of Finance for the execution of the COVID fiscal package during 2020, and assumes partial implementation of the package for 2021.

Italy: IMF staff estimates, and projections are informed by the fiscal plans included in the government’s 2021 budget. The stock of maturing postal saving bonds (BPF) is included in the debt projections.

Japan: The projections reflect fiscal measures already announced by the government as of March 9, 2021, with adjustments for IMF staff assumptions.

Kazakhstan: Fiscal projections are based on the budget code and IMF staff projections.

Korea: The forecast incorporates the overall fiscal balance in the 2021 annual and supplementary budget and the medium-term fiscal plan announced with the 2021 budget, and IMF staff adjustments.

Libya: Against the backdrop of a civil war and weak capacity, the reliability of Libya’s data, especially medium-term projections, is low.

Malaysia: Fiscal projections are based on budget numbers, discussions with the authorities, and IMF staff estimates.

Malta: Projections are based on the latest Stability Programme Update by the authorities and on budget documents, which also take into account other recently adopted fiscal measures, adjusted for IMF staff macro-economic and other assumptions.

Mexico: The 2020 Public Sector Borrowing Requirement estimate by IMF staff adjusts for some statistical discrepancies between above-the-line and below-the-line numbers, and proceeds from the oil hedge program as recommended in the 2018 Fiscal Transparency Evaluation report for Mexico. Fiscal projections for 2021 are broadly in line with the approved budget; projections for 2022 onward assume compliance with rules established in the Fiscal Responsibility Law.

Moldova: Fiscal projections are based on various bases and growth rates for GDP, consumption, imports, wages, and energy prices and on demographic changes.

Myanmar: Fiscal projections are based on budget numbers, discussions with the authorities, and IMF staff estimates.

Netherlands: Fiscal projections for the period 2020–25 are based on IMF staff forecast frameworks, and also informed by authorities’ draft budget plan and the Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis projections. Historical data were revised following the June 2014 Central Bureau of Statistics release of macro data because of the adoption of the European System of National and Regional Accounts (ESA 2010) and the revisions of data sources.

New Zealand: Fiscal projections are based on Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2020 and IMF staff estimates.

Nigeria: Fiscal projections assume unchanged policies and differ from the authorities’ active policy scenario.

Norway: Fiscal projections are based on the 2020 budget and subsequent ad-hoc updates.

Philippines: Revenue projections reflect IMF staff macroeconomic assumptions and incorporate the updated data. Expenditure projections are based on budgeted figures, institutional arrangements, and current data in each year.

Poland: Data are based on ESA 1995 for 2004 and earlier. Data are based on ESA 2010 beginning in 2005 on an accrual basis. Projections are based on the 2020 budget and take into account additional fiscal measures that will subsequently be incorporated into a revised 2020 budget later this year.

Portugal: The projections for the current year are based on the authorities’ approved budget, adjusted to reflect the IMF staff’s macroeconomic forecast. Projections thereafter are based on the assumption of unchanged policies.

Romania: Projections for 2020 mainly reflect legislated changes up to the end of 2020. Medium-term projections include a gradual implementation of recovery measures from the temporary recovery instrument (Next Generation EU).

Russia: Fiscal policy was countercyclical in 2020. There will be some degree of consolidation in 2021 in line with economic recovery, and the deficit is likely to come back to the fiscal rule’s limit in 2022.

Saudi Arabia: IMF staff baseline fiscal projections are based on IMF staff’s understanding of government policies as outlined in the 2021 budget. Exported oil revenues are based on World Economic Outlook baseline oil price assumptions and IMF staff’s understanding of Saudi Arabia’s current oil export policy under the OPEC+ agreement.

Singapore: For fiscal year 2020, projections are based on the initial budget, subsequent supplementary budgets, and budget execution through end of 2020. Fiscal year 2021 projections are based on the initial budget of February 16, 2021. IMF staff assumes gradual withdrawal of remaining exceptional measures in fiscal year 2022 and unchanged policies for the remainder of the projection period.

Slovak Republic: Fiscal projections are based on the 2021 budget but take into consideration available data for 2020 and include the new EU recovery funds (not included in the budget) for projection years.

Spain: The 2020 fiscal projections include the discretionary measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the legislated pension and public wage, and the minimum vital income support. For 2021, the projections include COVID-19–related support measures, the legislated increase in pensions, and the legislated revenue measures. Fiscal projections from 2022 onward assume no policy changes. Disbursement under the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility are reflected in the projections for 2021–24.

Sri Lanka: Fiscal projections are based on IMF staff assessments.

Sweden: Projections for 2020 are based on preliminary information on the fall of 2020 budget bill. The fiscal impact of cyclical developments is calculated using the 2014 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development elasticity,1 which takes into account output and employment gaps.

Switzerland: The authorities’ announced a discretionary stimulus—as reflected in the fiscal projections for 2020 and 2021—which is permitted within the context of the debt brake rule in the event of “exceptional circumstances.”

Turkey: The basis for the projections in the World Economic Outlook and Fiscal Monitor is the IMF-defined fiscal balance, which excludes some revenues and expenditure items that are included in the authorities’ headline balance.

United Kingdom: Fiscal projections are based on the latest GDP data published by the Office for National Statistics on February 12, 2021, and on forecasts by the Office for Budget Responsibility from November 23, 2020. Revenue projections are adjusted for differences between IMF staff forecasts of macroeconomic variables (such as GDP growth and inflation) and the forecasts of these variables assumed in the authorities’ fiscal projections. Projections assume that the measures taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak expire as announced. It is also assumed there is some additional fiscal consolidation relative to the policies announced to date starting in fiscal year 2023–24 with the goal of stabilizing public debt within five years. IMF staff data exclude public sector banks and the effect of transferring assets from the Royal Mail Pension Plan to the public sector in April 2012. Real government consumption and investment are part of the real GDP path, which, according to the IMF staff, may or may not be the same as projected by the UK Office for Budget Responsibility. Data are presented on a calendar year basis.

United States: Fiscal projections are based on the September 2020 Congressional Budget Office baseline adjusted for IMF staff policy and macroeconomic assumptions. Projections then incorporate the effects of the American Rescue Plan; the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act; the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. Finally, fiscal projections are adjusted to reflect IMF staff forecasts for key macroeconomic and financial variables, different accounting treatments of financial sector support, and defined-benefit pension plans, all of which are converted to a general government basis. Data are compiled using the 2008 System of National Accounts, and when translated into government financial statistics, this is in accordance with the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014. Because of data limitations, most series begin in 2001.

Venezuela: Projecting the economic outlook in Venezuela, including assessing past and current economic developments as the basis for the projections, is complicated by the lack of discussions with the authorities (the last Article IV consultation took place in 2004), incomplete understanding of the reported data, and difficulties in interpreting certain reported economic indicators given economic developments. The fiscal accounts include the budgetary central government, social security funds, FOGADE (insurance deposit institution), and a sample of public enterprises including PDVSA. The data for 2018–21 are IMF staff estimates. The effects of hyperinflation and the lack of reported data mean that IMF staff-projected macroeconomic indicators should be interpreted with caution. For example, nominal GDP is estimated assuming that the GDP deflator rises in line with IMF staff projections of average inflation. Public external debt in relation to GDP is projected using IMF staff estimates of the average exchange rate for the year. Considerable uncertainty surrounds these projections.

Vietnam: Fiscal data for 2015–17 are the authorities’ estimates. From 2018 onward, fiscal data are based on IMF staff projections.

Yemen: Hydrocarbon revenue projections are based on World Economic Outlook assumptions for oil and gas prices and authorities’ projections of production of oil and gas. Non-hydrocarbon revenues largely reflect the authorities’ projections, as do most of the expenditure categories, with the exception of fuel subsidies, which are projected based on the World Economic Outlook price consistent with revenues. Monetary projections are based on key macroeconomic assumptions about the growth rate of broad money, credit to the private sector, and deposit growth.

Definition and Coverage of Fiscal Data

Table A.

Economy Groupings

The following groupings of economies are used in the Fiscal Monitor. Data for all the economies can be found here: https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/datasets/FM

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Note: G7 = Group of Seven; G20 = Group of Twenty.

Does not include European Union aggregate.

Table B.

Advanced Economies: Definition and Coverage of Fiscal Monitor Data

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Note: Coverage: CG = central government; GG = general government; LG = local governments; PS = public sector; SG = state governments; SS = social security funds; TG = territorial governments. Accounting standard: A = accrual; C = cash; Mixed = combination of accrual and cash accounting.

ln many economies, fiscal data follow the IMF’s Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014. The concept of overall fiscal balance refers to net lending (+)and borrowing (-) of the general government. In some cases, however, the overall balance refers to total revenue and grants minus total expenditure and net lending.

“Nominal” refers to debt securities that are valued at their nominal values, that is, the nominal value of a debt instrument at any moment in time is the amount that the debtor owes to the creditor. “Face” refers to the undiscounted amount of principal to be repaid at (or before) maturity. The use of face value as a proxy for nominal value in measuring the gross debt position can result in an inconsistent approach across all instruments and is not recommended, unless nominal and market values are not available. “Current market” refers to debt securities that are valued at market prices; insurance, pension, and standardized guarantee schemes are valued according to principles that are equivalent to market valuation; and all other debt instruments are valued at nominal prices, which are considered to be the best generally available proxies for their market prices.

Table C.

Emerging Market and Middle-Income Economies: Definition and Coverage of Fiscal Monitor Data

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Note: Coverage: BCG = budgetary central government; CG = central government; GG = general government; LG = local governments; NFPC = nonfinancial public corporations; NFPS = nonfinancial public sector; NMPC = nonmonetary financial public corporations; PS = public sector; SG = state governments; SS = social security funds. Accounting standard: A = accrual; C = cash; Mixed = combination of accrual and cash accounting.

ln many countries, fiscal data follow the IMF’s Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014. The concept of overall fiscal balance refers to net lending (+)and borrowing (-) of the general government. In some cases, however, the overall balance refers to total revenue and grants minus total expenditure and net lending.

“Nominal” refers to debt securities that are valued at their nominal values, that is, the nominal value of a debt instrument at any moment in time is the amount that the debtor owes to the creditor. “Face” refers to the undiscounted amount of principal to be repaid at (or before) maturity. The use of face value as a proxy for nominal value in measuring the gross debt position can result in an inconsistent approach across all instruments and is not recommended, unless nominal and market values are not available. “Current market” refers to debt securities that are valued at market prices; insurance, pension, and standardized guarantee schemes are valued according to principles that are equivalent to market valuation; and all other debt instruments are valued at nominal prices, which are considered to be the best generally available proxies of their market prices.

Gross debt refers to general government public debt, including publicly guaranteed debt.

Gross debt refers to the nonfinancial public sector, excluding Eletrobras and Petrobras, and includes sovereign debt held on the balance sheet of the central bank. The overall balance combines the cash primary balance of the nonfinancial public sector and the net interest of the public sector on an accrual basis.

Revenue is recorded on a cash basis and expenditure on an accrual basis.

Coverage for South Africa is central government, but it serves a good proxy for the general government. It includes the national and provincial governments and certain public entities, while local governments are only partly covered. The subnational government debt is estimated to be limited given the available data from the South African Reserve Bank.

Data for Thailand do not include the debt of specialized financial institutions (SFIs/NMPC) without a government guarantee.

Gross debt covers banking system claims only.

The fiscal accounts include the budgetary central government, social security, FOGADE(an insurance deposit institution), and a sample of public enterprises, including Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA). Data for 2018–19 are IMF staff estimates.

Table D.

Low-Income Developing Countries: Definition and Coverage of Fiscal Monitor Data

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Note: Coverage: CG = central government; GG = general government; LG = local governments; NFPC = nonfinancial public corporations; NFPS = nonfinancial public sector; SG = state governments; SS = social security funds. Accounting standard: A = accrual; C = cash; CB = commitments-based; Mixe4/7/2021d = combination of accrual and cash accounting.

ln many countries, fiscal data follow the IMF’s Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014. The concept of overall fiscal balance refers to net lending (+) and borrowing (-) of the general government. In some cases, however, the overall balance refers to total revenue and grants minus total expenditure and net lending.

“Nominal” refers to debt securities that are valued at their nominal values, that is, the nominal value of a debt instrument at any moment in time is the amount that the debtor owes to the creditor. “Face” refers to the undiscounted amount of principal to be repaid at (or before) maturity. The use of face value as a proxy for nominal value in measuring the gross debt position can result in an inconsistent approach across all instruments and is not recommended, unless nominal and market values are not available. “Current market” refers to debt securities that are valued at market prices; insurance, pension, and standardized guarantee schemes are valued according to principles that are equivalent to market valuation; and all other debt instruments are valued at nominal prices, which are considered to be the best generally available proxies of their market prices.

Haiti’s fiscal balance and debt data cover the central government, special funds and programs (Fonds d’Entretien Routier and Programme de Scolarisation Universelle, Gratuite, et Obligatoire), and the state-owned electricity company EDH.

Lao RD.R.’s fiscal spending includes capital spending by local governments financed by loans provided by the central bank.

0veralI and primary balances in 2012 are based on monetary statistics and are different from the balances calculated from expenditure and revenue data.

Uzbekistan’s listing includes the Fund for Reconstruction and Development.

Table A1.

Advanced Economies: General Government Overall Balance, 2012–26

(Percent of GDP)

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Source: IMF staff estimates and projections. Projections are based on staff assessments of current policies (see “Fiscal Policy Assumptions” in text).Note: For country-specific details, see “Data and Conventions” in text, and Table B.

Data include financial sector support. For Cyprus, 2014 and 2015 balances exclude financial sector support.

For cross-economy comparison, the expenditures and fiscal balances of the United States are adjusted to exclude the imputed interest on unfunded pension liabilities and the imputed compensation of employees, which are counted as expenditures under the 2008 System of National Accounts (2008 SNA) adopted by the United States, but not in economies that have not yet adopted the 2008 SNA. Data for the United States in this table may thus differ from data published by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis.