United Arab Emirates 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For The United Arab Emirates

Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498317715
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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that the United Arab Emirates has continued to benefit from its perceived safe-haven status amid regional instability. The economic recovery has been solid, supported by the tourism and hospitality sectors, and a rebounding real estate sector. Although growth in oil production moderated, public projects in Abu Dhabi and buoyant growth in Dubai’s service sectors continued to underpin growth, which reached 5.2 percent in 2013. The macroeconomic outlook is positive. Economic growth is expected at 4.8 percent in 2014 and about 4.5 percent in coming years, supported by a number of mega projects announced and the successful bid for the World Expo 2020.

Arab Republic Of Egypt 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For The Arab Republic Of Egypt

Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498344909
Size: 24.25 MB
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KEY ISSUES The 2014 Article IV consultation takes place when the authorities have started to address longstanding economic challenges. For a number of years Egypt has suffered from low and non-inclusive growth and from high unemployment. Since 2011 these problems have been compounded by large fiscal deficits and rising public debt and by external fragility evidenced by loss of foreign exchange reserves. In 2014, Egypt adopted a new constitution and elected a new president who was candid with the electorate on the need to reform the economy. The government has developed a plan centered on structural reform and investment promotion to raise growth and create jobs, and fiscal adjustment to bring the budget deficit and public debt under control. Crucially, the authorities have already begun to implement fuel subsidy reform, raising prices by 40–80 percent in July 2014. They have also begun the reforms needed to raise tax revenue and to make Egypt a more attractive destination for investment. There was agreement that the authorities’ objectives are ambitious but are broadly within reach with steady policy implementation. The authorities aim to raise growth to 6 percent per annum, reduce annual inflation to 7 percent, bring down the fiscal deficit to 8 percent of GDP and debt to 80–85 percent of GDP, and increase foreign exchange reserves to 3½ months of imports, all within the next five years. Staff considers these objectives appropriately ambitious, although targeting a higher level of reserves would be prudent. It believes that the authorities’ policies, if followed steadfastly, are broadly consistent with these objectives, but noted that a number of policies—including the details of some fiscal measures and structural measures to improve the business environment—are still being formulated. The authorities and the staff differed somewhat on the extent of vulnerabilities and risks. The authorities are confident that they will be able to follow through on their policies and that improved confidence will lead to a surge in foreign investment, a pickup in tourism, and strong economic growth. Staff emphasized that the authorities’ policies would still leave significant vulnerabilities, namely high public debt and large financing gaps, which would need to be covered by greater adjustment or financing, or a combination of the two. Staff also pointed to the difficulty of maintaining tight fiscal and monetary policies over a long period, the risks of dilution of structural reform efforts, and the uncertain regional security environment. To contain these vulnerabilities and risks, staff recommended developing contingency measures in the budget, taking steps to build up reserves buffers, and greater exchange rate flexibility to restore competitiveness. However, staff also agreed that with steadfast commitment to reform, Egypt’s prospects could be stronger than assumed in staff’s projections. In particular, the recovery in investment could exceed expectations.

Islamic Republic Of Afghanistan 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For The Islamic Republic Of Afghanistan

Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1616355018
Size: 36.13 MB
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KEY ISSUES Context. Over the past decade, Afghanistan has made enormous progress in reconstruction, development and lifting per capita income. Security and political uncertainties, and weak institutions have constrained growth and weighed on social outcomes. With significant reform efforts and donor support, Afghanistan has maintained macroeconomic stability, implemented important structural reforms, and built policy buffers, but significant vulnerabilities remain. The IMF has been supporting Afghanistan through technical assistance and a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. Reviews under the ECF arrangement have been delayed. Outlook and risks. 2014 is a crucial year in the political and security transitions and the run-up to the “transformation decade” (2015–24). Assuming smooth political and security transitions, continued reform and donor financing, the outlook should be positive. Large security and development expenditure needs and a limited domestic revenue capacity mean that Afghanistan will remain dependent on donor financing for an extended period. Macroeconomic stability, structural reforms, and political and security stability are needed to ensure inclusive growth. Risks, mostly on the downside, are related to adverse domestic or regional security developments, political instability, inadequate implementation of economic policies, and donor fatigue. Policy recommendations. The authorities’ economic strategy (maintaining macroeconomic stability, strengthening the financial sector, improving economic governance, and moving toward fiscal sustainability) remains appropriate and needs strengthened implementation. Sustained implementation of this strategy will safeguard growth and build buffers to help manage shocks. Policies should continue to aim at strengthening revenue collection, managing money growth to control inflation while preserving exchange rate flexibility, strengthening bank supervision, and quickly enacting anti-money laundering (AML), countering financing of terrorism (CFT), banking, central bank, and value-added tax legislation.

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

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484397185
Size: 10.50 MB
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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Croatia remains stuck in an unusually drawn out recession. In 2013, real GDP contracted for the 5th consecutive year, and stands now at less than 90 percent of the end-2008 level. Unemployment has risen to 17 percent. Domestic demand remains depressed as corporations and households focus on reducing excessive debts accumulated in the 2000s. Exports and foreign direct investment are also feeble. The outlook is for an additional contraction in 2014 of almost 1 percent. Real domestic demand would remain feeble, reflecting both weak private sector demand and fiscal consolidation.

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

Author: International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 149832729X
Size: 47.46 MB
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KEY ISSUES Economic context. Growth has been strong, inflation low, and fiscal buffers and international reserves adequate. However, poverty and unemployment remain high, despite large government spending financed from oil revenue. The business climate is among the most challenging and the private credit-to-GDP ratio among the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Outlook and Risks. The economy is projected to expand by about 6 percent per annum between 2014 and 2019, as new oil fields come on stream and an ambitious public investment program is implemented to diversify the economy and make growth more inclusive. Oil production is expected to peak in 2017. The medium-term outlook for non-oil growth and poverty reduction hinges on progress addressing deep-seated structural weaknesses and fiscal adjustment. Risks to the outlook relate to oil price volatility and political instability. Policies. Macroeconomic policies should focus on meeting the economy’s social and development needs while mitigating risks to macroeconomic stability in the longer term. • The growth of government spending should be arrested and the 2014 budget should not be exceeded. Amid spending pressures related to the 2015 Africa Games and the 2016 presidential elections, new fiscal developments should be reflected in a supplementary budget in 2014 to enhance transparency. • In view of the limited remaining lifetime of oil reserves, a gradual fiscal consolidation should be targeted over the medium-term to safeguard fiscal and debt sustainability. Ongoing efforts to address implementation and absorptive capacity constraints need to be stepped up to maximize the benefits from public investments. • Consideration should be given to adopt the non-oil primary balance as the fiscal anchor. • The private sector’s supply response to public infrastructure spending should be maximized through implementation of reforms to improve the business climate, support private investment, and develop the financial sector. • The pilot project for cash transfers should be well-targeted and monitored to reduce poverty. • Compliance with reserves pooling requirements would insure the continued smooth operation of the BEAC and the exchange rate peg, which both continue to serve the Republic of Congo well.

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: 1498309496
Size: 54.68 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.

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

Author: International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484308301
Size: 47.15 MB
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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that inflation in Nigeria has remained in single digits for two years, and the banking sector, which has a strong capital base, is expanding credit. The trade surplus has been declining since the second quarter of 2013 on lower oil exports and continued strong growth of imports, and gross international reserves have been falling. The general government fiscal deficit and public debt have been kept low. The Executive Directors have commended authorities for progress in promoting Nigeria’s economic diversification and for their macroeconomic response to collapsing export prices.

Somalia 2015 Article Iv Consultation Press Release Staff Report And Statement By The Executive Director For Somalia

Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1513512099
Size: 29.28 MB
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KEY ISSUES Context: Somalia is a fragile state emerging from a protracted civil war. In 1991, the government was toppled by armed opposition groups, leading to implosion of the central government and devolution of power to administrative regions. The Fund recognized the Federal Government of Somalia on April 12, 2013, paving the way for staff to provide policy advice and technical assistance. While Somalia has been welcomed back as an active member of the Fund, it remains ineligible for financial assistance pending the clearance of its longstanding arrears. The political and security situation remains challenging. Complex clan politics and high turnover in the members of the economic team have undermined policymaking. A new government took office on February 18, 2015, and presidential elections are planned for September 2016. Key policy issues: The Article IV discussions focused on immediate and medium-term actions for building institutions and policy frameworks for fiscal and financial management. Specifically, • Capacity building and governance. Concerted action is needed to build institutions and improve governance in order to support sustainable, inclusive growth, and poverty reduction. In particular, urgent efforts are required to set in place sound mechanisms and institutions to ensure that prospective natural resource wealth, notably hydrocarbons, is well managed. Considerable donor assistance is required for helping Somalia to meet these daunting challenges. • Fiscal. Decisive steps are necessary to build fiscal discipline, underpinned by realistic budgeting and effective implementation systems, including commitment controls. The 2015 budget needs to be revised in light of revenue shortfalls. An emergency revenue mobilization plan and an expenditure review are warranted. • Financial sector. Efforts are needed to develop the currently rudimentary financial system. Swift action is required so that remittances can be channeled through the international banking system. Currency reform should not be implemented until prerequisites are in place. Given the extent of dollarization and the absence of monetary policy instruments, the central bank is unable to conduct monetary policy. Past IMF advice: The latest Article IV consultation was on November 13, 1989, and focused on the low priority attached by the government in place then on the need for better controlling unproductive spending, and on the need for better economic and social services.

United Arab Emirates

Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1475584008
Size: 44.82 MB
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Context. Sustained low oil prices have led to a weakening of fiscal and external positions, tightening of monetary and financial conditions, and somewhat softer economic sentiment. Substantial fiscal consolidation was achieved in 2015, but it has weighed on non-oil growth and banks’ asset quality. Outlook and risks. Non-oil growth is expected to slow further in 2016, before improving over the medium term as oil prices recover and investment picks up in the run-up to the Expo2020. Macro-financial risks have increased, though the UAE’s large buffers and safe-haven status have helped to limit negative inward spillovers.

Exchange Rate Assessments

Author: Mr. Jaewoo Lee
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1451932316
Size: 59.79 MB
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The rapid increase in international trade and financial integration over the past decade and the growing importance of emerging markets in world trade and GDP have inspired the IMF to place stronger emphasis on multilateral surveillance, macro-financial linkages, and the implications of globalization. The IMF's Consultative Group on Exchange Rate Issues (CGER)--formed in the mid-1990s to provide exchange rate assessments for a number of advanced economies from a multilateral perspective--has therefore broadened its mandate to cover both key advanced economies and major emerging market economies. This Occasional Paper summarizes the methodologies that underpin the expanded analysis.