This 2012 Article IV Consultation reports that Palau’s growth is expected to be favorable at 3 percent in FY2012 and to average 2 percent over the medium term. The outlook is clouded by an unsettled global environment, and downside risks dominate. Highly dependent on tourism, imports of food and fuel, and foreign aid, Palau remains vulnerable to external headwinds and has limited policy space to counter these risks. The authorities have made commendable efforts to reduce the current fiscal deficit markedly during FY2010–11, but the deficit remains sizable.
The key findings of the Republic of Palau’s 2010 Article IV Consultation shows that the single most important issue in Palau remains fiscal policy, including its effect on medium-term growth, as fiscal consolidation proceeds. The global financial crisis followed on the heels of a massive terms-of-trade shock, leading to a sharp curtailment of foreign direct investment and private credit. Tourism tumbled following an airline bankruptcy, and construction activity fell as major infrastructure projects reached completion.
Over the past two years, economic activity in Palau has been slowed. Executive Directors welcomed the authorities’ disciplined policies, strong financial sector legislation, and prudent management of foreign grants. They encouraged the authorities to build a strong fiscal consolidation and improve the business environment. Directors applauded the authorities’ strong efforts to reduce expenditure. They stressed the need for strengthening tax administration and commended the well regulated financial sector, and encouraged the authorities to improve the coverage, reliability, and timeliness of key economic statistics.
The report discusses the needed fiscal adjustment under the no Compact renewal and Compact renewal scenarios, respectively. The report also discusses the IMF estimates and projections of the Republic of Palau's selected social indicators, 1995 and 2000–07; gross domestic product during 2002–07; national government debt and debt service, 1999/00–2006/07; national government budgetary operations, 2001/02–2007/08; national government expenditure, 2001/02–2006/07; details of assets and liabilities; operating accounts of the national development bank of palau; financial positions of the civil service pension fund, 2000/01; 2006/07, etc.
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix describes Palau’s financial sector, its recent performance, and developments in regulatory reform. The paper considers illustrative scenarios of possible outcomes for public spending levels and growth under different assumptions with respect to future grants and the long-term value of government assets held in the Compact Trust Fund. Sensitivity of the results to the rate of return on assets is considered. The paper also covers recent fiscal performance, revenue and expenditure reforms, and some financing issues.
This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that Palau’s economic growth has picked up in recent years while inflation has been low. After several years of slow growth, real GDP grew by 5 percent in FY2004 and FY2005, driven by a steady increase in visitor arrivals with the start of new airline routes and hotels. Economic prospects in the near term remain upbeat but are uncertain in the longer term. Tourism will continue to be a main source of near-term growth while ongoing externally financed large infrastructure projects will support construction and other services.
Real output growth of the Republic of the Marshall Islands appears to have slowed sharply in FY2003 and again in FY2004. The 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic activity has been hampered by delays in implementing an upgraded public works program and the closure of a large privately owned tuna processing plant. The fiscal position deteriorated in FY2004. This deterioration reflects, on the revenue side, a decline in grants aimed at infrastructure projects owing in part to delays in initiating projects, lower income tax collection, and volatility in nontax revenue.
The staff report for the 2004 Article IV Consultation on the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) focuses on economic developments and policies. Fiscal and structural reforms are needed for the FSM to achieve self-sufficiency. The large government sector will be increasingly unsustainable given coming declines in grants. Fiscal adjustment will need to comprise both expenditure cuts and revenue measures. Structural reform priorities should include improvements to the legal framework for land use, foreign investment, and lending.
The Republic of Palau (Palau) has always been heavily dependent on external assistance. The availability of steady grants has allowed Palau to maintain a sizable public sector. A number of issues are considered in designing a comprehensive management strategy for the Compact Trust Fund (CTF). The following statistical data are also included in this paper: social indicators, financial position of compact trust fund, imports by product category, by country, or territory of origin, balance of payments, and so on.
This 2001 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Republic of Palau faces a number of development challenges. Substantial improvements in human and physical infrastructure are needed to sustain higher growth rates. About 80 percent of the land area is on the Babeldaob Island, which is virtually inaccessible now, but it is expected to develop rapidly after the completion of a Japan-funded bridge in 2002 and a United States-funded island access road in 2004. Asset balances have been declining as a result of drawdowns to finance fiscal deficits, as well as recent investment losses.