Soaring real estate prices and valuations despite the economic downturn brought by the pandemic have focussed the attention of Dutch policymakers on potential macro-financial and socio-economic implications. In this context, our paper reviews the salient features of Dutch commercial and residential real estate markets with an eye to identify pertinent risks and challenges. While we find that the Dutch authorities have made considerable strides to strengthen real estate-related policies in recent years, some, and partly long-standing, issues remain, requiring additional efforts to bolster financial stability, address housing supply shortages and manage secular changes affecting property markets.
Andorra, the IMF’s newest member since October 2020, participated in its first Article IV consultation with a commitment to further enhance transparency. Tourism and banking-related services dominate economic activity in the euroized economy. The country enjoys long-standing political stability, a good track-record of fiscal discipline, a gender-balanced work force, and internationally competitive ski resorts. The authorities are managing the pandemic well with universal testing and expanded hospital capacity that kept fatality rates very low despite high case-loads. The testing strategy helped Andorra implement more targeted internal restrictions than in neighboring countries. At the same time, emergency fiscal measures stabilized real incomes and supported firms.
This paper presents the first set of Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) borrowing agreements that have been signed to respond to the unprecedented demand for concessional financing during the COVID-19 pandemic. A fast-track loan mobilization round has been instrumental to allow the Fund to raise access limits and scale up emergency financing to low-income countries (LICs). The new agreements and augmentations of existing agreements that have been finalized are from Belgium, Brazil, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Together, these agreements provide a total of SDR 10.6 billion in new PRGT loan resources for LICs.