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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper presents details of Austria’s 2013 Article IV Consultation. Austria has been growing economically but is facing challenges in the financial sector. Full implementation of medium-term fiscal adjustment plans require specifying several measures and plans that need gradual strengthening to take expected further bank restructuring cost into account. It suggests that strong early bank intervention and resolution tools, a better designed deposit insurance system, and a bank-financed resolution fund would help reduce the need for budgetary support to any troubled banks in the future.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper explains Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility and Request for Extension of the Arrangement report for Benin. The IMF report shows that inflation has returned to normal levels since the petroleum price shock in early 2012 when neighboring Nigeria reduced fuel subsidies, and external imbalances were revised downward. Problems with customs reform, which delayed the 5th fifth review, have been addressed by developing a new approach that takes into account lessons from a suspended previous reform attempt and international best practices.
Juan Pablo Medina Guzman and Claudia Soto
In this paper, we analyze how lack of credibility and transparency of monetary and fiscal policies undermines the effectiveness of macroeconomic policies to isolate the economy from commodity price fluctuations. We develop a general equilibrium model for a commodity-exporting economy where macro policies are conducted through rules. We show that the responses of output, aggregate demand, and inflation to an increase in commodity price are magnified when these rules are imperfectly credible and lack transparency. If policies are imperfectly credible, then transparency helps private agents to learn the systematic behavior of the autorities, reducing the effects of commodity prices shocks. Coherent with the model, we show cross-country evidence that monetary policy transparency and fiscal credibility reduce the incidence of export price volatility on output volatility. Also, our results indicate that having an explicit fiscal rule and an inflation targeting regime contribute to isolate the economy from terms of trade fluctuations.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept., International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &amp, and Review Department
This paper assesses the Republic of Congo’s discussions in 2013 Article IV Consultation. Though having abundance of natural resources, notably oil and iron ore, Congo has achieved limited progress in poverty alleviation, and remains vulnerable to external shocks. Weak governance and business conditions are significant constraints to private sector development and growth inclusiveness. The IMF report shows that Congo’s main challenge is to ensure long-term macroeconomic stability in the face of oil revenue volatility and exhaustibility, and to make growth more inclusive.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2013 Article IV consultation highlights Namibia’s positive growth record over the years, which has raised overall incomes and led to positive economic outcomes. However, growth has not translated into sufficient job creation, and unemployment and income inequality are persistently high. Real GDP growth is expected to moderate to 4 percent in 2013 from 5 percent in 2012 reflecting weak global demand for exports partially offset by solid growth in domestic demand. Given the uncertain external environment, the IMF staff recommends that the authorities pursue “growth-friendly” fiscal consolidation, reining in unproductive current spending while protecting growth-promoting capital spending. The IMF staff also welcomes efforts by the government to look into ways to steer a gradual reduction of the wage bill, which would improve labor market outcomes.
Juan Pablo Medina Guzman and Claudia Soto

In this paper, we analyze how lack of credibility and transparency of monetary and fiscal policies undermines the effectiveness of macroeconomic policies to isolate the economy from commodity price fluctuations. We develop a general equilibrium model for a commodity-exporting economy where macro policies are conducted through rules. We show that the responses of output, aggregate demand, and inflation to an increase in commodity price are magnified when these rules are imperfectly credible and lack transparency. If policies are imperfectly credible, then transparency helps private agents to learn the systematic behavior of the autorities, reducing the effects of commodity prices shocks. Coherent with the model, we show cross-country evidence that monetary policy transparency and fiscal credibility reduce the incidence of export price volatility on output volatility. Also, our results indicate that having an explicit fiscal rule and an inflation targeting regime contribute to isolate the economy from terms of trade fluctuations.

Juan Pablo Medina Guzman and Claudia Soto
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This paper presents details of Austria’s 2013 Article IV Consultation. Austria has been growing economically but is facing challenges in the financial sector. Full implementation of medium-term fiscal adjustment plans require specifying several measures and plans that need gradual strengthening to take expected further bank restructuring cost into account. It suggests that strong early bank intervention and resolution tools, a better designed deposit insurance system, and a bank-financed resolution fund would help reduce the need for budgetary support to any troubled banks in the future.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

This paper presents details of Austria’s 2013 Article IV Consultation. Austria has been growing economically but is facing challenges in the financial sector. Full implementation of medium-term fiscal adjustment plans require specifying several measures and plans that need gradual strengthening to take expected further bank restructuring cost into account. It suggests that strong early bank intervention and resolution tools, a better designed deposit insurance system, and a bank-financed resolution fund would help reduce the need for budgetary support to any troubled banks in the future.