The IMF Data Standards Initiatives enhance data transparency as a global public good. The Tenth Review updates the framework, in light of new data priorities, through a parsimonious and principles-based expansion of encouraged data categories covering selected aspects in the areas of public debt, macro-financial indicators, foreign exchange intervention, climate change-related policy, and gender- disaggregated labor market statistics. The Review also focuses on strengthening the monitoring of the first tier of the Data Standards Initiatives, the enhanced General Data Dissemination System (e-GDDS), and encouraging subscribers of the second tier, the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), to modernize data publication technology.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economic recovery in Austria has strengthened in 2016. GDP growth in 2016 is estimated at 1.4 percent, an improvement over the average growth of 0.6 percent in 2012–15. Growth has been broad-based, driven by private consumption supported by income tax cuts, a recovery in investment, and higher public consumption owing to spending on refugees. Employment growth has picked up as well. The outlook for 2017 appears similarly robust, while in the medium term growth would decline toward its potential rate, which IMF staff estimate at slightly higher than 1 percent. Risks to the outlook are mainly external, with limited likely impact overall.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office
This report examines whether the IMF has effectively leveraged an important asset: data. It finds that in general, the IMF has been able to rely on a large amount of data of acceptable quality, and that data provision from member countries has improved markedly over time. Nonetheless, problems with data or data practices have, at times, adversely affected the IMF’s surveillance and lending activities. The roots of data problems are diverse, ranging from problems due to member countries’ capacity constraints or reluctance to share sensitive data to internal issues such as lack of appropriate staff incentives, institutional rigidities, and long-standing work practices. Efforts to tackle these problems are piecemeal, the report finds, without a clear comprehensive strategy that recognizes data as an institutional strategic asset, not just a consumption good for economists. The report makes a number of recommendations that could promote greater progress in this regard.
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.
This 2011 Article IV Consultation highlights that the economy of Trinidad and Tobago is turning the corner, and growth is expected to resume in 2012 after an extended slowdown lasting three years. Real economic activity is expected to increase by 1.7 percent in 2012 as the nonenergy sector picks up momentum with the acceleration of government investment. Executive Directors have welcomed the signs of economic recovery following a prolonged slowdown, and commended the authorities for implementing supportive policies, aided by ample buffers, which had helped maintain stability.
The 2012 Article IV Consultation on Mauritius reports that the outlook for growth and inflation is broadly positive, although growth is likely to slow somewhat to below 4 percent. The cyclical component of Mauritius’ fiscal balance is projected to be small. A less expansionary fiscal stance than currently projected by IMF staff would contribute to building policy buffers and reducing relatively high debt levels. In the event of a deterioration in the external environment, automatic stabilizers should be allowed to work, and limited fiscal stimulus could also be considered.
The 2011 Article IV Consultation report discusses the Cypriot economy, which faces strong headwinds and downside risks owing to financial turbulence in the euro area and the large exposure of Cypriot banks to Greece. Executive Directors noted that Cyprus faces daunting economic challenges in the face of faltering external demand and worsening domestic financial conditions. Directors urged the authorities to act forcefully to restore sound public finances and safeguard the stability of the banking system.
Italy’s economic development after the recession is analyzed in this study. Earnings were hampered by low net interest and high loan-loss provisions, but banks remained profitable. A large and stable retail funding base and ample collateral to access eurosystem refinancing helped Italian banks to face liquidity and funding risks. The tax system was simplified to support growth and enhance tax compliance. The execution of fiscal federalism should not undermine fiscal discipline, and measures were taken to improve employment. Flexibility introduced by the labor market was welcomed.
The Swaziland economy continues to suffer from the global economic crisis and an overvalued real exchange rate. The fiscal crisis is starting to affect external stability. Notwithstanding the fiscal crisis, banks continue to remain well capitalized and profitable. The 2011–12 budget promises to make significant progress in fiscal adjustment while safeguarding priority expenditures. The government is taking ambitious measures to cut the wage bill in FY2011–12. Improvements in revenue administration by the Swaziland Revenue Authority (SRA) will strengthen revenue collections.
The Swaziland economy continues to underperform, reflecting the impact of the global economic crisis. The impact of the crisis has been felt mostly in revenue transfers of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) to Swaziland. Executive Directors welcomed Fiscal Adjustment Roadmap (FAR), which focused on restoring fiscal sustainability, improving competitiveness, and strengthening financial supervision. They noted that key challenges are restoring fiscal sustainability, addressing HIV/AIDS, reducing poverty, and creating employment. Directors emphasized the need for fiscal adjustment and budgetary reforms. Directors noted that the banking system remains in good health.