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International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix explores four policy issues—fiscal policy, public sector pension reforms, monetary management, and labor market performance—which are crucial for understanding the recent performance of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles and which will need to be addressed to restore the prospect of durable economic growth. The paper reviews experience with fiscal adjustment in the Netherlands Antilles, focusing in particular on the 1996–97 adjustment program. The paper also analyzes the sustainability of the public pension system of the country.
International Monetary Fund

I. I ntroduction 1. Following more than a decade of relatively strong economic growth, the economy of the Netherlands Antilles entered a phase of stagnation during 1995-98, accompanied by a sharp increase in unemployment. 1 Adverse developments affecting the oil refinery and the offshore financial sector, and the hurricane in late 1995, which devastated the tourism infrastructure on Sint Maarten, are commonly seen as the main direct causes. Nonetheless, underlying fiscal imbalances and structural weaknesses of the economy also played a pertinent role. They

International Monetary Fund

significant increase during the first half of the decade. The level of minimum wages appears relatively high for the region, but perhaps not overly so, given the higher relative productivity of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles, and the fact that the regulations are not strictly enforced. 32 According to 1997 data, approximately 21 percent of the employed earn the minimum wage. This percentage is somewhat higher in Sint Maarten (where minimum wages are higher). Reportedly, there are people earning less than the minimum wage. 113. The regulation on the duration of

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix explores four policy issues—fiscal policy, public sector pension reforms, monetary management, and labor market performance—which are crucial for understanding the recent performance of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles and which will need to be addressed to restore the prospect of durable economic growth. The paper reviews experience with fiscal adjustment in the Netherlands Antilles, focusing in particular on the 1996–97 adjustment program. The paper also analyzes the sustainability of the public pension system of the country.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix explores four policy issues—fiscal policy, public sector pension reforms, monetary management, and labor market performance—which are crucial for understanding the recent performance of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles and which will need to be addressed to restore the prospect of durable economic growth. The paper reviews experience with fiscal adjustment in the Netherlands Antilles, focusing in particular on the 1996–97 adjustment program. The paper also analyzes the sustainability of the public pension system of the country.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix explores four policy issues—fiscal policy, public sector pension reforms, monetary management, and labor market performance—which are crucial for understanding the recent performance of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles and which will need to be addressed to restore the prospect of durable economic growth. The paper reviews experience with fiscal adjustment in the Netherlands Antilles, focusing in particular on the 1996–97 adjustment program. The paper also analyzes the sustainability of the public pension system of the country.

International Monetary Fund

. The time span and accuracy of income, wage cost, and labor market data, and the quality of balance of payments data also need improvement ( Appendix I ). 46. With the breakup of the federation, arrangements for Fund surveillance over the Antilles will need to be reviewed, and the staff will make its recommendations to the Executive Board at a later date. APPENDIX I Kingdom of the Netherlands—Netherlands Antilles: Statistical Issues 1. General Data problems make the effective surveillance of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles difficult. Most

International Monetary Fund

: Statistical Issues 1. General Data problems make the effective surveillance of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles difficult. Most data are published with considerable lags, and are often subject to large measurement errors and revisions. The frequency and timeliness of data availability of the core statistical indicators are shown in the attached table. The central bank (BNA) continues to provide comprehensive reviews of the economy in its Annual Reports, Quarterly Bulletins, and through data disseminated on its website. The authorities have made a commitment

International Monetary Fund
This 2003 Article IV Consultation highlights that after a prolonged recession through the second half of the 1990s, the Netherlands Antilles economy has recently shown some important resilience. With the exchange rate pegged to the U.S. dollar, the Netherlands Antilles has enjoyed low inflation. With waning cost-push pressures related to higher energy costs and indirect tax increases, inflation has moderated to 0.5 percent in 2002. For 2003, inflation is projected to reach 2 percent in line with developments projected for the United States.
International Monetary Fund

adopted the GDDS framework as a device to improve Antillean statistics. II. B ackground 5. The economy of the Netherlands Antilles is undiversified and prone to external shocks, which on balance have been adverse during the past 15 years . The boom of tourism was insufficient to compensate for the decline in the oil refining and offshore sectors ( Box 1 ). The shock to the latter was particularly severe: tax revenues derived from the sector fell from about 15 percent of GDP in the mid-1980s to less than 2 percent of GDP in 2000. Moreover, in the second half of