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Mr. William Lee, Mr. Jorge A Chan-Lau, Ms. Dora M Iakova, Mr. Papa M N'Diaye, Ms. Tao Wang, Ida Liu, Ms. Hong Liang, and Mr. Eswar S Prasad

Abstract

This Occasional Paper provides an overview of the main challenges facing Hong Kong SAR as it continues to become more closely integrated with the mainland of China. Section I provides an overview of recent macroeconomic developments and the main policy issues in Hong Kong SAR. Section II examines various aspects of the ongoing integration with the mainland, and the associated implications for the structure of the economy, and for macroeconomic and structural policies. Section III examines the medium-term fiscal outlook under different policy scenarios and discusses alternative policy options to restore fiscal balance. Section IV reviews recent developments in the real estate sector and their macroeconomic impacts. Section V presents an econome tric analysis of deflation and its determinants. Section VI examines the factors behind, and the implications of, rising wage inequality in Hong Kong SAR. Section VII presents an overview of recent developments in the financial sector and provides an assessment of Hong Kong SAR’s prospects as an international financial center.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The financial turmoil of the late 1990s prompted a broad search for tools and techniques for detecting and preventing financial crises, and more recent episodes of instability have high lighted the importance of continuous monitoring of financial systems as a tool for preventing crises. This paper looks at the development of measures of financial sector soundness and of methods to analyze them. The authors propose two sets of financial soundness indicators that are considered useful for periodic monitoring, and for compilation and dissemination efforts by national authorities. They highlight the substantial advance made in recent years in measuring and analyzing financial soundness indicators, and specify areas where more work is needed.

Mr. Guy M Meredith and Mr. Ulrich Baumgartner

Abstract

This volume brings together various analytical studies the IMF staff has undertaken on the Japanese economy, focusing on two areas of particular interest for both longer-term economic performance and recent cyclical developments. The first is Japan's saving behavior, the second is the remarkable swing in asset prices that occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s.