France 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For France

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498324169
Size: 40.28 MB
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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of France fared better than most other large euro areas economies through the crisis, reflecting the resilience of private consumption, lack of financial fragmentation, and lower levels of household and corporate debt. Banks’ financial position has also been strengthened. But after two years of near stagnation, unemployment remains high. A loss of competitiveness has also weighed on growth. The outlook is for a gradual recovery, with GDP growth projected at 0.7 percent in 2014 and 1.4 percent in 2015, based on stronger external and domestic private demand, reflecting gains in real disposable income and improved profit margins.

Italy 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Italy

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498302637
Size: 49.40 MB
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KEY ISSUES Unleashing Italy’s Potential The economy is struggling to emerge from a prolonged balance-sheet recession… Tight credit conditions, weak corporate balance sheets, and deeply-rooted structural rigidities continue to weigh on domestic demand. The high level of public debt and membership in a currency union highlight the importance of tackling these structural weaknesses. …and the risks are tilted to the downside. External risks arise from geopolitical tensions, while Italy’s high public debt, large public financing needs, and elevated NPLs leave the economy vulnerable to financial contagion and/or low growth and inflation. Without meaningful reforms, potential growth is projected to remain low. Deep structural changes are urgently needed to secure a recovery and unleash Italy’s growth potential. Moving to a single labor contract with gradually increasing protection would reduce duality. Judicial efficiency could be improved by promoting mediation and enhancing monitoring of court performance. Greater efforts to combat corruption would strengthen the business environment. Implementing reforms simultaneously could be self- reinforcing and generate significant growth synergies. A greater push to clean up banks’ bad loans is needed to support lending in the recovery. More provisioning and write-offs; a private distressed debt market; and enhanced insolvency regime would accelerate the reduction of NPLs. Improved corporate governance and deeper capital markets would support growth and financial stability. A broad strategy to revive the SME sector would complement efforts to strengthen bank balance sheets. This strategy should promote restructuring support for viable, but distressed firms and a quick exit for those that are non-viable. A new fiduciary loan contract and greater sharing of credit information could support alternative financing for new endeavors. Fiscal policy needs to strike a delicate balance between setting the debt ratio on a downward path while helping the economy recover. To support growth, the priority should be to lower marginal tax rates through spending savings and lower tax expenditures. But given the low growth and high interest rate environment, stronger fiscal balances are needed to bring down debt faster. Conditional on the recovery taking hold, a modest structural surplus next year would be appropriate. Policies at the European level could also support growth by easing further monetary conditions should inflation remain too low, and reducing financial fragmentation.

Luxembourg 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Luxembourg

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484378598
Size: 44.60 MB
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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that with a strong policy framework, Luxembourg has weathered the crisis well and the economy is rebounding. The fiscal position remains sound, and the large financial sector has been resilient. After a shallow recession in 2012, growth reached 2.1 percent in 2013. The improving economic and financial environment in Europe drove the recovery in services exports. The outlook is for growth to firm up but without returning to its pre-crisis trend. Output is forecast to grow broadly in line with potential (2 to 2½ percent) during 2014–2019.

Union Of The Comoros 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For The Union Of The Comoros

Author: International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484303369
Size: 19.79 MB
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KEY ISSUES • The Comorian economy continues to grow although at a slightly slower pace. Economic growth in 2014 is projected at 3.3 percent, adversely affected by electricity disruptions and slower-than-expected implementation of the public investment program. Inflation has remained subdued. Staffs’ baseline assumption is that real GDP growth will average around 4 percent per annum over the medium term, provided reforms are implemented. • Implementation of the 2014 budget was challenging, particularly after mid-year. While revenues were broadly on target, resources were inadequate to meet the higher- than-budgeted wage bill resulting from an increase in teacher salaries in March and previously un-budgeted expenditures, including on elections. Domestically-financed investment spending was severely constrained and temporary arrears were incurred on salaries and external debt. • The key short-term challenge is to find a better balance between available resources and expenditures so that arrears can be avoided. Spending plans need to be based on realistic expectations of the resources likely to be available. The 2015 budget is premised on this principle but the scope for domestically-financed investment is inadequate as obligatory spending on wages and salaries and debt service absorbs most of domestic revenue. • For the medium-term the key challenges are to create fiscal space for infrastructure investment and social spending, accelerate inclusive growth and employment generation, and reduce poverty. The authorities need to focus their efforts on strengthening revenue administration and public financial management to expand fiscal space and improve transparency. Weaknesses in the business environment, including inadequate infrastructure, especially in the energy sector, and difficulties in contract enforcement represent important challenges.

Panama 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Panama

Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 149839082X
Size: 64.45 MB
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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Panama’s economic performance remains buoyant. Real GDP growth averaged about 8.5 percent over the past decade, the highest in Latin America, supported by an ambitious public investment program, and accompanied by strong reduction in unemployment, poverty, and income inequality. After exceeding 10 percent in 2011–2012, growth slowed to 8.4 percent in 2013 reflecting mainly a decline in Colon Free Zone activity and in Canal traffic. Growth is expected to remain strong over the medium term. Inflation is moderating, owing to the deceleration of international food and oil prices. The baseline outlook is favorable, with moderate risks.

Malta 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Malta

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484391888
Size: 68.31 MB
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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Malta’s economy continues to weather the global crisis well. Real GDP growth has been one of the highest in the euro area since the beginning of the crisis, supported by relatively diversified exports, a recent recovery in domestic demand, and a stable banking sector. Unemployment is close to historical lows and among the lowest in the euro area. The external position is strong, and progress has been achieved in reducing the budget deficit. The macroeconomic outlook is favorable. Growth is expected to remain robust in 2015–16, supported by domestic demand. Inflation is projected to remain subdued. The current account surplus will likely persist.

Austria 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Austria

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498395597
Size: 28.67 MB
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KEY ISSUES Context: Austria did not experience a severe boom-bust cycle and came through the crisis relatively well. The main impact was on the banking sector and public debt. With cyclical slack low and the recovery taking hold, this is the time to resolve crisis legacies and address long-standing structural issues. Outlook and risks: The recovery is taking hold, driven by a pick-up in exports. The most acute risks are mainly geopolitical and could in particular lead to financial spillovers. Financial sector policies: Bank restructuring should now be rapidly completed and bad asset disposal accelerated. Large internationally active banks should stand ready for further capital increases, and the EU banking union framework needs to be swiftly transposed at the national level. Public expenditure reforms: More decisive expenditure reforms in key areas such as pensions, health care, subsidies, and fiscal federalism would generate savings that could be used for both an accelerated debt reduction and lower labor taxation. Boosting potential output growth: Enhancing IT adaptation, improving the performance of the education system, facilitating access to financing for innovative start- ups, and reducing administrative barriers for new businesses would raise potential growth and labor productivity.

Mauritius 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Mauritius

Author: International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484368134
Size: 35.39 MB
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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that with subdued international prices, inflationary pressures in Mauritius declined in 2013, despite the public sector wage increases. The unemployment rate was unchanged compared with 2012 at 8 percent. Credit to private sector growth remained robust. On the external front, the current account deficit widened to almost 10 percent of GDP in 2013. The reserve cover of imports of goods and services stayed constant at 4½ months with the Bank of Mauritius accumulating additional net international reserves. The structural primary deficit was broadly unchanged relative to 2011.

Spain 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Staff Supplement Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Spain

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498308155
Size: 42.65 MB
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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic growth in Spain has resumed, and unemployment is falling. Exporters are gaining market share, and the current account is in surplus for the first time in decades. Financial conditions have improved sharply, with sovereign yields at record lows. Business investment is rebounding strongly and private consumption has also started to recover owing to improved employment prospects and rising confidence. Executive Directors have welcomed the improving Spanish economy. They have stressed that labor market reform should be accompanied by product and service market liberalization to maximize the gains to growth and jobs.

Guatemala 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Guatemala

Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484341643
Size: 77.58 MB
Format: PDF
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KEY ISSUES Context. Guatemala’s economy has performed solidly since the 2008–09 crisis. Output has converged to potential, inflation is under control, and macroeconomic policies remain prudent. However, risks to the outlook are tilted downwards, while buffers are modest and space for counter-cyclical policies is thin. Long-term inclusive growth is constrained by low investment in physical and human capital, institutional weaknesses, and lack of security. Near-term policies are broadly appropriate. With the output gap closed, the broadly neutral fiscal stance is adequate. The monetary stance is slightly expansionary, but inflation is at the bottom of the target range. The authorities should stand ready to tighten monetary policy if inflationary pressures re-emerge. Fiscal sustainability should be enhanced over the medium term. Though the debt-to- GDP ratio remains moderate, the ability to implement counter-cyclical fiscal policies is limited, not least by Guatemala’s high government debt-to-revenue ratio. Debt stabilization requires moderate tightening of the budgetary stance over the medium term. The emphasis should be on revenue mobilization, given the overall low level of spending. Consolidating gains from the 2012 tax reform, which has so far proved disappointing, will be critical. Efforts to upgrade the monetary and exchange policy framework should continue. Anchoring low and stable inflation will require measures to bolster monetary policy transmission, including by expanding exchange rate flexibility. This should provide an additional shock absorber and reduce incentives for dollarization. It would also establish the inflation target as the undisputed primary objective of the central bank. Further strengthening of the financial system is necessary. The 2014 FSAP update found that Guatemala has made significant progress in financial regulation and that the banking system appears to be generally sound. However, efforts are still needed to improve consolidated supervision and the regulation of off-shore banks. The time is also ripe for a phased move to Basel III standards. Structural reforms are vital to achieving long-term inclusive growth. Paving the way towards high, inclusive growth will depend upon raising the low tax-to-GDP ratio to support priority public spending, thereby addressing critical social and developmental needs.