Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Mr. Roberto Garcia-Saltos, and Mr. Lorenzo U Figliuoli
Abstract: Accelerating economic growth in Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic (CAPDR) remains an elusive task. While the region performed relatively well in the post-global financial crisis period, over the last five years obstacles to growth have become more evident and new challenges have emerged. In response, the region has strengthened macro-financial frameworks but more progress will be required to pave the way to sustained growth and prosperity. This book considers the structural factors underlying the region’s growth outlook and assesses its macroeconomic and financial challenges to help shape the policy agenda going forward. The book first identifies the structural determinants of growth in the region related to: capital formation; employment; demographic factors, including immigration; productivity; and violence. It then highlights the importance of creating fiscal space through the design and implementation of fiscal rules and mechanisms to increase accountability (better quality of public spending, adequate policies to reduce income inequality and sustainable retirement plans). Finally, it presents recent evidence on the importance of a supportive financial sector for growth (including through financial inclusion and development).
The Research Summaries in the September 2013 IMF Research Bulletin focus on “External Conditions and Debt Sustainability in Latin America” (Gustavo Adler and Sebastian Sosa) and “Monetary Policy Cyclicality in Emerging Markets” (Donal McGettigan, Kenji Moriyama, and Chad Steinberg). In the Q&A, Itai Aigur and Sunil Sharma discuss “Seven Questions on Macroprudential Policy Frameworks.” The Research Bulletin also includes an updated listing of recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from the IMF Bookstore, as well as information on a forthcoming conference. The IMF Economic Review’s new Impact Factor is also highlighted.
The IMF carries out its mandate to foster macroeconomic stability and thereby facilitate prosperity by promoting the adoption of sound policies and international cooperation. Ultimately, the means to achieve these goals is to have Fund policy advice translated into concrete action. Key to achieving such traction is the relationship between Fund staff and member country authorities, together with the quality of the advice and members’ confidence in it. That is, the Fund needs to be seen as a trusted advisor. This evaluation examines in what circumstances the Fund is viewed as a trusted advisor to its member countries. It uses evidence gathered since 2005, but emphasizes the period since the onset of the global crisis in 2007–08. Because the concept of trusted advisor is “in the eyes of the beholder,” the evaluation derives the main attributes from country authorities themselves.
The Research Summaries in the December 2012 IMF Research Bulletin look at "Market Failures and Macroprudential Policy" (Giovanni Favara and Lev Ratnovski) and "Measurement Matters for House Price Indices" (Mick Silver). The Q&A column looks at "Seven Questions on Turning Points of the Global Business Cycle." The Bulletin also includes a listing of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes, as well as a list of the top-viewed articles for the first three issues of IMF Economic Review in 2012. Information is also included on a call for papers for the conference "Asia: Challenges of Stability and Growth" to be held in Seoul in 2013.
Improvements in financial regulation and supervision in the Central American region (CAPDR) have strengthened financial stability. Prudential instruments with potential macroeconomic effects have been introduced. Nonetheless, compared with the larger Latin American and selected industrial countries, there is still important scope for CAPDR to enhance financial supervision and regulation. Based on two surveys, and the analysis of the Basel Core Principles, the paper determines that some weaknesses exist in risk-based supervision, and that macroprudential measures have scarcely been deployed.