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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Lebanon highlights that Lebanon’s economic position continues to be very difficult, with very low growth, high public debt and large twin deficits. While financial stability has been maintained, deposit inflows, critical to finance the budget and external deficits, slowed down during the past year, reducing the authorities’ room for manoeuvre. The new government has taken some important policy steps to start the needed policy adjustment, which could help raise confidence among investors and donors. The highest priority is the implementation of a sustainable fiscal adjustment that will bend down the path of the public debt-to-gross domestic product ratio through a combination of revenue and expenditure measures. This needs to be complemented by structural reforms and concessionally financed investment to raise Lebanon’s growth potential and help external adjustment, as well as policies to build further buffers in Lebanon’s financial sector. Structural reforms should prioritize reforming the electricity sector, removing impediments to and lowering the cost of doing business, as well as improving governance and reducing corruption.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Honduras’s 2019 Article IV Consultation and Request for a Stand-By Arrangement and an Arrangement Under the Standby Credit Facility. Supported by a Fund program that expired in December 2017, Honduras has reduced macroeconomic imbalances, institutionalized fiscal prudence, and laid the groundwork for a modern monetary policy framework. The authorities are committed to maintain prudent policies and to build on previous achievements to make progress in solving long-standing issues. The authorities’ economic program aims at maintaining macroeconomic stability, while enacting economic and institutional reforms to foster inclusive growth. Honduras needs to foster inclusive growth through reforms and better governance. Policy priorities include: reforms to increase the quality of fiscal policy, sustaining revenue mobilization efforts, protecting investment and social spending, and securing financial sustainability of the public electricity company; and reforms to enhance transparency and governance in the budget.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses three important sectors of Belize economy: financial, sugar market, and energy. Belize’s banking system has continued to strengthen since the 2014 Article IV Consultation in June 2014. Despite recent improvements, some banks’ balance sheets are still weak and exposed to adverse macroeconomic developments. The sugar sector makes a very important contribution to Belize’s economy. The sector is estimated to account for about 4-5 percent of GDP, 9-10 percent of total exports, 8 percent of employment, and 5-6 percent of foreign exchange earnings. But the reform of EU sugar regime, scheduled to take full effect in 2017, will most likely cause a significant drop in the EU sugar price.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the importance of oil and interest rate spillovers for Saudi Arabia. Oil prices have fallen by more than 40 percent since mid-2014 while the Federal Reserve is expected in the coming months to begin raising its policy rate at the beginning of a gradual tightening cycle. Given the importance of oil to the economy and the peg of the riyal to the U.S. dollar, these are two key developments for Saudi Arabia. Although a temporary drop in oil prices would likely have little effect on the economy and banks given the financial cushions that have been built-up, a longer-lasting period of low oil prices would have a more significant impact.
International Monetary Fund
This paper is an overview of Nicaragua’s performance in the year 2011. The year 2012 is expected to face a recession and a moderation in the global oil prices. The tax revenue collections will be sturdy. The poverty scale will not face any oscillation. The rigid development in the business line, sustaining the electricity sector financially, and low dependence of oil imports are the anticipated preventive measures to overcome these challenges. The Board has taken these ideas as the positive outcome of a strong rule.
International Monetary Fund
This paper is a report of Nicaragua’s performance under the 2007–11 program. The period was marked by a stern financial crisis, price shocks, and disasters, but the program maintained the macroeconomic stability. Although the program had several hurdles, its achievements were remarkable—approval of tax reforms, improvements in banks' framework, power and electricity framework, dwindled poverty rate, and strong foreign relations. Overall, the Board is in high spirits in the triumph of the program in a critical situation though it had some flaws.
International Monetary Fund
The Nicaraguan economy continued to post robust growth in the first half of 2011. The Seventh Review Under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) and Financing Assurances Review highlights that all quantitative performance criteria for end-June 2011 were met and the structural agenda is broadly on track. The fiscal performance of the central government was stronger than envisaged. The deficit in the external current account is projected to remain large and to be financed by resilient capital flows.
International Monetary Fund
Japan has responded swiftly to stabilize markets, and activity has begun to recover. The immediate priority is to repair damaged infrastructure and facilitate a swift recovery. Financial policies should protect against the risk of an economic slowdown and higher market volatility. Timely implementation of the government’s growth strategy would help sustain fiscal adjustment and support the recovery. Japan is an important contributor to regional growth and stability. Despite the adversity caused by the earthquake, Japan continues to demonstrate its strong commitment to international cooperation.
International Monetary Fund
In this study, owing to the global financial crisis, a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for the Dominican Republic was approved. The aim is to limit the procyclical policies in the short-term and discussions focused on policies necessary to ensure that the end-2011 and 2011 targets are observed. Administrative measures such as proindustria, withholding income tax, and indexation of specific tax are estimated to increase revenues. The conditional cash program “Solidaridad” is explained. Finally, various issues under the financial program are discussed.