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International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department and International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
This IMF report to the AHLC is the first since September 2018. Following limited engagement over the past three years, policy discussions have intensified in recent months. These discussions have focused mainly on establishing a medium term macro-fiscal framework, including the broad outlines of a reform scenario.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines the profitability of the foreign exchange (FX) swaps issued the Central Bank of Brazil (BCB) between May 2013 and February 2019 to shed light on the rationale for FX intervention. Using interest rate and exchange rate forecasts, the paper shows that that FX swaps have been profitable in expectation, even though actual returns were negative due to unexpected exchange rate depreciations. Moreover, the scale of FX intervention is correlated with the expected profitability of the swaps, further suggesting that the BCB used FX intervention to stem abnormal movements of the exchange rate. Despite being profitable in expectation, swaps incurred realized losses due to unexpected exchange rate depreciations. The analysis suggests that the BCB used FX intervention to lean against temporary excessive movements of the exchange rate. The expected profitability of FX swaps can be monitored in real time and may thus provide guidance on the appropriate level of intervention.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Israel’s economy has been doing well and near-term growth prospects are favorable. Following growth of 2.6 percent in 2014, the economy is expected to expand by about 2.5 percent in 2015 and 3–3.3 percent each year in the medium term. Employment creation has been remarkable—growing by 3.5 percent annually—and unemployment is at multi-decade lows. Inflation has been negative, but this trend reflects temporary external factors, not domestic weakness. Debt has declined to 67 percent of GDP from a peak of 94 percent of GDP in 2003 but is expected to increase for the first time since 2009, following the upward revisions to the deficit targets.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2013 Article IV consultation highlights the moderate growth of the economy of Israel. Abstracting from the impact of new large-scale natural gas production, GDP growth is estimated to have moderated to about 2.5 percent in 2013, owing in large part to weak investment and exports. Some pickup is expected in 2014, but the underlying momentum is weaker than before. Despite notable progress, Israel’s public debt remains high, while continued housing price increases pose risks of a boom-bust cycle in the housing market. The key policy challenge is to maintain near-term growth at potential, while preventing the buildup of imbalances, strengthening resilience to shocks, and ensuring long-term sustainability.
International Monetary Fund
This 2012 Article IV Consultation reports that Israel has emerged from the 2008–09 global crisis with strong economic growth, a resilient banking system, and unemployment at historic lows. Exports, at 40 percent of GDP, depend on global demand for high-technology products, such as electronics and pharmaceuticals, and communications. One-third of exports go directly to Europe, with more routed there indirectly. Given the country’s weak direct trade linkages to the region, regional tensions mainly affect Israel through security, investor and consumer confidence, and public finances.
International Monetary Fund
Israel was mildly affected by the global recession: following a slowdown in 2009, output is projected to grow by some 4 percent in 2010, led by consumption and exports. Robust fundamentals—including sustained pre-crisis fiscal consolidation—and a swift monetary and fiscal policy response to the external downturn allowed Israel to pass through the global recession relatively unscathed. The resilience of the economy has been strengthened by the adoption of new fiscal rules capping spending and deficits.
International Monetary Fund
The Selected Issues paper on Poland underlies that as the only European Union economy to avoid outright recession during the crisis, Poland is likely to attract renewed risk appetite. Poland could become one of the main recipients of capital inflows. This could lead to excessive exchange-rate appreciation, which would undermine competitiveness. The volatility of capital flows into Poland has been lower during both the boom and crisis periods, in part owing to timely introduction in the boom period of countercyclical macroprudential measures.
International Monetary Fund
This staff report discusses Israel’s 2009 Article IV Consultation on economic developments and policies. The economy has been shielded from the global downturn by the absence of prior housing or bank credit booms, high household savings rates, and the fact that investment goods and consumer durables are mostly imported from abroad. Safe-haven factors that have put upward pressure on the currency appear to have eased along with the global financial sector stabilization, and concerns about the excessive strength of the shekel have not entirely been put to rest.
International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the 2008 Article IV Consultation of Israel on economic developments and policies is examined. Fiscal and monetary credentials have been established in markets. Banks and their supervisory arrangements have been robust, and growth has been strong, sustained, and balanced. Although public debt is much reduced, to about 80 percent of GDP, it remains vulnerable. Although domestic securities prices tracked those abroad downward, prompting outflows from provident funds, flows in domestic credit markets remained largely undisturbed.
Mr. Steven A. Symansky, Mr. Xavier Debrun, and Mr. Natan P. Epstein
We propose a fiscal rule that fulfills a specific debt reduction objective while maintaining significant fiscal flexibility-two overarching concerns in Israel. Not unlike the Swiss "debt brake," the rule incorporates an error-correction mechanism (ECM) through which departure from the debt objective affects binding medium-run expenditure ceilings. Two variants of our ECM rule are shown to be superior to a comparable deficit rule in terms of attaining the debt objective and allowing for fiscal stabilization while supporting medium-term expenditure planning. Given its relative sophistication, a proper implementation of the ECM rule requires supportive fiscal institutions, including independent input and assessment.