Middle East and Central Asia > Jordan

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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

This evaluation assesses how well IMF-supported programs helped to sustain economic growth while delivering adjustment needed for external viability over the period 2008–19. The evaluation finds that the Fund’s increasing attention to growth in the programs has delivered some positive results. Specifically, it does not find evidence of a consistent bias towards excessive austerity in IMF-supported programs. Indeed, programs have yielded growth benefits relative to a counterfactual of no Fund engagement and boosted post-program growth performance. Notwithstanding these positive findings, program growth outcomes consistently fell short of program projections. Such shortfalls imply less protection of incomes than intended, fuel adjustment fatigue and public opposition to reforms, and jeopardize progress towards external viability. The evaluation examines how different policy instruments were applied to support better growth outcomes while achieving needed adjustment. Fiscal policies typically incorporated growth-friendly measures but with mixed success. Despite some success in promoting reforms and growth, structural conditionalities were of relatively low depth and their potential growth benefits were not fully realized. Use of the exchange rate as a policy tool to support growth and external adjustment during programs was quite limited. Lastly, market debt operations were useful in some cases to restore debt sustainability and renew market access, yet sometimes were too little and too late to deliver the intended benefits. The evaluation concludes that the IMF should seek to further enhance program countries’ capacity to sustain activity while undertaking needed adjustment during the program and to enhance growth prospects beyond the program. Following this conclusion, the report sets out three recommendations aimed at strengthening attention to growth implications of IMF-supported programs, including the social and distributional consequences.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Timely containment, a large monetary stimulus, and targeted fiscal measures helped save lives and livelihoods during the first COVID-19 wave, but a significant second wave is still unfolding. The economic and human impact has been sizeable: real GDP is expected to decline by 3 percent in 2020; unemployment has surged to record levels; tourism and remittances have declined; and revenues of the central government and of other public sector entities have dropped, raising public debt to 90 percent of GDP. A new government and parliament have been ushered in, with welcome continuity in reform commitment.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Jordan’s Seventh and Final Review Under the Stand-by Arrangement and Proposal for Post-program Monitoring. Jordan’s program has helped the economy weather different shocks. Performance has been good in the run-up to the final review. Although growth has been affected by regional tensions, the current account deficit is narrowing, foreign reserves remain at an adequate level, and inflation is low. All end-April performance criteria were met with comfortable margins, and policies are on track to meet their 2015 targets while fiscal structural reform is moving forward. The IMF staff supports the completion of the seventh review and the related purchase.
International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office

Abstract

The Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) evaluation on International Reserves: IMF Concerns and Country Perspectives was discussed by the Board in December 2012. This evaluation examined the IMF’s analysis of the effect of reserves on the stability of the international monetary system and its advice on reserve adequacy assessments in the context of bilateral surveillance. In the multilateral context, the evaluation acknowledged the IMF’s broader work stream on the international monetary system but noted that this work had not sufficiently informed the analysis and recommendations regarding reserves. The IEO evaluation of The Role of the IMF as Trusted Advisor was discussed by the Board in February 2013. This evaluation found that perceptions of the IMF had improved, but that they varied markedly by region and country type. Recognizing that there will always be an inherent tension between the IMF’s roles as a global watchdog and as a trusted advisor to member country authorities, the evaluation report explored how the IMF could sustain the more positive image it had achieved in the aftermath of the recent global crisis. The evaluation found that among key challenges facing the IMF were improving the value added and relevance of IMF advice and overcoming the perception of a lack of even-handedness.

The June issue of the IMF Research Bulletin looks at the role of IMF programs and capacity building in fostering structural reforms and the economics of Arab countries undergoing political transitions. The Q&A analyzes the neutral interest rate through the experiences of several Latin American countries. The Research Bulletin also includes its regular features: a listing of IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes, information on the forthcoming IMF Economic Review and the Fourteenth Jacques Polack Annual Research Conference, and recommended readings from IMF Publications.
International Monetary Fund
This review assesses the experience gained to date in carrying out the longer-term program engagement (LTPE) policy and preparing the ex post assessments (EPAs). It discusses the main characteristics of LTPE members and the findings of the EPAs, analyzes the role of the EPAs in the Fund’s due diligence, and provides recommendations for improving their effectiveness.