Middle East and Central Asia > Iraq

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Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa and Mr. Christoph Duenwald
Analysis of policies for managing public sector wage bills in the Middle East and Central Asia region. While some work has been done recently at the Fund on issues related to government employment and compensation, to our knowledge, this is the first study to systematically examine, with a focus on the Middle East and Central Asia region, the recent trends and drivers of public wage bills in the region and to identify key policy implications.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the need to reduce Iraq’s current expenditure to create fiscal space for inclusive growth. Iraq’s public spending is high in international comparison and is driven by its two largest components: compensation of public employees and social transfers. The reform of social welfare cash transfer programs promises to improve their large targeting errors and result in greater capacity to address poverty at a lower fiscal cost. The government also needs to introduce further amendments to the draft pension bill and critically review programs benefiting victims of war and political persecution to improve their targeting and limit their potential for abuse and a negative impact on the labor supply.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses the Syrian Refugee Crisis (SRC) and conflicts in Syria and Iraq have weighed on investor sentiment, tourism, and exports but the influx of Syrians is likely to have increased aggregate demand. Labor market conditions deteriorated after the massive influx of refugees and nontradable prices accelerated. The balance of payment suffered pressures on the non-oil current account, owing to lower exports of goods and services and higher imports. The SRC has increased the direct fiscal costs persistently by above one percent of GDP, which could double after counting for quality and capital deterioration. The negative impact is decreasing as the influx of Syrian refugees slowed and the stock pushed up aggregate demand. The influx of more than 10 percent of Jordan’s original population may have certainly increased consumption, particularly, over time as the incomers settled and the likelihood of returning to their home country diminishes. Unemployment grew the most in governorates that host most of the refugees.
International Monetary Fund
This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Luxembourg authorities are adjusting policies to the growth slowdown, although major new initiatives are on hold in the run-up to the June 2004 general election. Tax cuts, high expenditure, and weak activity are estimated to have caused a general government deficit in 2003. Executive Directors have welcomed indications that real GDP growth is rebounding, following an unusually long period of sluggish activity. However, they have stressed that medium-term growth prospects are now less buoyant in comparison with the exceptional growth performance of the past decade.