The Icelandic economy has been severely affected by the pandemic. Sharp tourism contraction and containment measures caused real GDP to plummet by 6.6 percent in 2020. A modest recovery will take hold in 2021. Recovery prospects in the tourism sector depend on control of the epidemic and progress in global and domestic vaccine distribution, spelling a challenging outlook with possibly deep medium-term scarring. Fiscal policy should continue to support the economy for now. Policy buffers accumulated over the last decade provided space for a large fiscal support and accommodated substantial automatic stabilizers. Additional stimulus is planned in 2021 to address still large slack in the economy, mitigate scarring, and provide confidence in the event of downside risks. Medium-term policies should ensure that public debt is firmly on a downward path, while limiting the drag on growth.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the sectoral trends and the impact of the real effective exchange rate (REER) changes on sectoral exports using the detailed product data from the United Nations’ Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade). This paper focuses on Uruguay’s product- and sector-specific global export market shares. It also estimates the sensitivity of these market shares to real effective exchange rate by using the product data from the Comtrade database and building on the work presented in IMF (2017). The paper estimates the elasticities of product market shares with respect to real exchange rates for Uruguay only. Rather than using time dummies to isolate the potential impact of the time trend, the lagged value of the change in shares as an additional independent variable has been added. The paper concludes that Uruguay’s manufacturing exports are sensitive to the changes in REER, and, accordingly, that productivity-enhancing measures to promote competitiveness would be beneficial.
This paper analyzes how the leverage of financial institutions affects their demand for assets and the resulting value of transactions between financial institutions. The results show a positive relationship between buyer capital and the likelihood of buying assets, and between buyer capital and the value of the deal. That is, those institutions that are the least constrained in their ability to raise funding are those that demand assets and pay more for them. This result does not hold, however, for deposit-taking institutions that had access to several government programs designed to improve their liquidity position during the crisis of 2008.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Jamaica’s First Review under the Stand-by Arrangement (SBA), Request for Waiver of a Performance Criterion (PC), and Request for Modification of PC. Program implementation remains strong under the SBA. Sustained macroeconomic discipline and visible reforms have boosted stability and confidence. Positive real GDP growth has been recorded in seven consecutive quarters, and Jamaica is projected to grow 2 percent in fiscal year 2017/18, bolstered by construction and tourism, among other factors. Inflation reached an all-time low in 2016, and investor confidence is at an all-time high, attracting foreign direct investment. The current account deficit has narrowed significantly, supporting accumulation of nonborrowed reserves.
The Second Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement with St. Kitts and Nevis highlights that economic activity continued to contract in 2011 while the current account balance improved and banks remained sound. All quantitative performance criteria for end-December 2011 were met, and the structural benchmarks were completed. The authorities have made progress in a comprehensive debt restructuring, including a successful completion of the restructuring of bonds and external commercial debt on April 18, 2012, and agreement on a debt-land swap.
This paper presents a model to assess the efficiency of the capital structure in public-private partnerships (PPP). A main argument supporting the PPP approach for investment projects is the transfer of know-how from the private partner to the public entity. The paper shows how different knowledge transfer schemes determine an optimal shareholding structure of the PPP. Under the assumption of lower capital cost of the public partner and lower development outlays when the investment is carried out by a private investor, an optimal capital structure is achieved with both the public and the private parties as shareholders.
Juan Manuel Lima, Mr. Johannes Wiegand, Enrique Montes, and Carlos Varela
We employ an extended version of the Allen et al. (2002) Balance Sheet Approach to examine macroeconomic vulnerabilities in Colombia between 1996 and 2003, based on an unusually rich data set. We find that vulnerabilities existing prior to Colombia's 1999 recession-high levels of private debt, a large negative foreign currency position of the corporate sector, and banks' exposure to stretched households and companies-receded subsequently. New vulnerabilities emerged, however, especially the high level of public debt accumulated until end-2003, and growing exposure of the financial sector to the sovereign.
This 2005 Article IV Consultation highlights that since the last Article IV Consultation, Bangladesh’s economy has continued to expand, supported by a stable macroeconomic environment and progress in implementing structural reforms, broadly in line with the recommendations made by the IMF Executive Board. Good progress has been made in strengthening the banking system. Bangladesh Bank has raised minimum capital requirements, taken steps to reduce insider lending, and improved the institutional framework for the prudential supervision of the financial system.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the energy sector and labor market developments in Trinidad and Tobago. It discusses monetary and exchange rate policy and describes the institutional setting and economic structure within which monetary and exchange rate policy is conducted. The framework under which monetary policy is formulated and implemented is outlined. The paper also reviews the evolution of monetary and exchange rate policies, and presents some comments on the effectiveness of monetary and exchange rate policy.