This 2019 Article IV Consultation highlights that Finland’s economy has performed well over the past three years, however, has slowed in 2019. There are some vulnerabilities in household finances, and productivity growth remains weak, with trend growth also constrained by adverse demographics. A new coalition government targets greater social support and inclusion, higher employment, carbon neutrality by 2035, and a balanced budget by 2023. A key challenge is to balance plans to increase spending with the need to maintain fiscal buffers. The fiscal expansion is expected to provide useful cyclical support in the short run, but offsetting measures will be required to ensure the structural balance reaches the government’s medium-term target. The government aims for a substantial increase in employment, but the effectiveness of the proposed wage subsidies is unclear. Alternatively, incentives from tax and benefit schedules could be improved, especially for younger women, older workers, and those out of the workforce. Risks in the banking system remain low overall, but some types of lending are increasing household vulnerabilities. The recent recommendation to limit the ratio of household debt to income is both sensible and in line with steps taken in many other countries.
IMF Research Perspective (formerly published as IMF Research Bulletin) is a new, redesigned online newsletter covering updates on IMF research. In the inaugural issue of the newsletter, Hites Ahir interviews Valeria Cerra; and they discuss the economic environment 10 years after the global financial crisis. Research Summaries cover the rise of populism; economic reform; labor and technology; big data; and the relationship between happiness and productivity. Sweta C. Saxena was the guest editor for this inaugural issue.
Cornelia Hammer, Ms. Diane C Kostroch, and Mr. Gabriel Quiros-Romero
Big data are part of a paradigm shift that is significantly transforming statistical agencies, processes, and data analysis. While administrative and satellite data are already well established, the statistical community is now experimenting with structured and unstructured human-sourced, process-mediated, and machine-generated big data. The proposed SDN sets out a typology of big data for statistics and highlights that opportunities to exploit big data for official statistics will vary across countries and statistical domains. To illustrate the former, examples from a diverse set of countries are presented. To provide a balanced assessment on big data, the proposed SDN also discusses the key challenges that come with proprietary data from the private sector with regard to accessibility, representativeness, and sustainability. It concludes by discussing the implications for the statistical community going forward.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights Sweden’s economic growth and policies. Sweden’s economy appears to be slowing together with its main Nordic and European trading partners. The IMF report discusses that there is a scope to improve the fiscal framework, by ensuring it remains sufficiently countercyclical. Given the importance of Swedish banks for the region, improving financial stability in Sweden would also contribute to financial stability across the Nordics, as would additional progress toward cross-border burden-sharing agreements. Structural reforms are also expected to add to resilience and growth.
Mr. Thorvardur Tjoervi Olafsson and Ms. Julia Majaha-Jartby
The paper's central theme is that where a financial crisis emerges, regional supervisors should have systems in place to effectively respond to their country-specific crises and-in the case of foreign operations and financial conglomerates-to collaborate comprehensively with other supervisory agencies and respective ministries to avert a regional crisis or address the immediate crisis at hand. For financial institutions to expand across borders without undermining regional and global financial stability, supervisory agencies must develop the capacity to collaboratively and collectively handle crises.
Mr. Paul Louis Ceriel Hilbers, Mr. Alfredo Mario Leone, Mr. Mahinder Singh Gill, and Mr. Owen Evens
Following the severe financial crises of the 1990s, identifying and assessing financial sector vulnerabilities has become a key priority of the international community. The costly disruptions in global markets underscored the need to establish a set of monitorable variables for evaluating strengths and weaknesses in financial institutions and to alert authorities of impending problems. These variables, indicators, of financial system health and stability known collectively as macroprudential indicators, are the subject of this Occasional Paper by the Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department and the Statistics Department. Macroprudential indicators take measures at both the level of aggregated financial institutions and at the macroeconomic level; financial crises often occur when weaknesses are identified in both. The authors provide a breakdown and explanations of these indicators and a review of the theoretical and empirical work done thus far. Work at other international and multilateral institutions is included as well as the experiences of several national central banks and supervisory agencies. This paper provides a valuable reference source of current knowledge about macroprudential indicators and issues related to their analysis, identification, measurement, and possible dissemination.