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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights New Zealand’s economic expansion, which since early 2011 gained further broad-based momentum in 2016. GDP growth accelerated to 4 percent, and the output gap has roughly closed. Reconstruction spending after the 2011 Canterbury earthquake was an important catalyst, but the expansion has also been supported by accommodative monetary policy, a net migration wave, improving services exports, and strong terms of trade. There was some weakening of momentum in the fourth quarter of 2016, owing to softer private consumption and a sharp drop in exports, but it is expected to be temporary. Growth should rebound and then moderate toward trend in the medium term, in particular as net migration normalizes.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper estimates the fiscal impact of demographic changes in Portugal and the euro area over the period 2015–2100. Under the baseline projections of the United Nations, Portugal is among the countries in the euro area that is expected to be most hurt by demographic developments. During 2015–2100, its population is expected to shrink by about 30 percent while the old-age dependency ratio is expected to more than double, driven mostly by low fertility, higher longevity, and migration outflows. Age-related public spending would increase by about 6 percentage points of GDP under the baseline over the period 2015–50, and the public debt path would become unsustainable in the absence of offsetting policies.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper studies the two vital issues of Luxembourg’s economy: investment IMF-World Bank linkages and lessons and challenges in accommodating migrants and refugees. The Luxembourg investment fund industry, second in the world after the United States, has grown rapidly since the global financial crisis. Risks in investment funds are attracting global attention, and the linkages between Luxembourg funds and banks could contribute to transmitting financial volatility to the financial system and the real economy. Past experience of handling migration flows and a positive public attitude have helped the authorities to mobilize resources for accommodating sharply rising refugee inflows from mid-2015.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
The 2015 Article IV Consultation discusses the key issues related to the economy of Austria. Austria has recovered from the global financial crisis, but the crisis still remains in bank and public sector balance sheets. Major banks have been striving to strengthen their capital and profitability positions amid regulatory and supervisory reforms. Despite lackluster growth, economic slack is limited as potential growth has fallen as well. The governing coalition of Social Democrats and the right-of-center People's Party holds a constructive dialogue on economic policy issues. Growth is estimated at 0.7 percent in 2015, a slight improvement over the ½ percent average in 2012–14, on the back of strengthening external and domestic demand.
Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Ms. Catherine A Pattillo, and Ms. Smita Wagh
This paper assesses the impact of the steadily growing remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Though the region receives only a small portion of the total recorded remittances to developing countries, and the volume of aid flows to SSA swamps remittances, this paper finds that remittances, which are a stable, private transfer, have a direct poverty mitigating effect, and promote financial development. These findings hold even after factoring in the reverse causality between remittances, poverty and financial development. The paper posits that formalizing such flows can serve as an effective access point for "unbanked" individuals and households, and that the effective use of such flows can mitigate the costs of skilled out-migration in SSA.
International Monetary Fund
The external imbalances that accompanied Latvia’s integration into the global economy have generated mixed effects. Stabilizing net foreign liabilities will require an improvement in the goods and services balance. Outward migration from Latvia has raised concerns about social and economic stresses that could intensify in the near future if labor flow increases. Several steps have to be taken to mitigate any adverse consequences of outward migration. The purpose of this paper is to examine macroeconomic and prudential aspects of the rapid growth of lending in Latvia.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Vietnam reports that the framework for policy lending in Vietnam, in conjunction with the active consideration of proposals to enhance the operational autonomy of policy-lending institutions, poses significant risks. The current framework does not adequately address common governance issues related to state involvement in investment decisions, and is insufficient to ensure the quality of investment. Recommended policy actions include removing residual policy lending from commercial banks, and improving prudential regulations and supervision of the Development Assistance Fund and local development funds well before they are granted any significant autonomy.
Mr. Alexei P Kireyev
The paper seeks to assess the macroeconomic implications of large-scale inward remittances for a small open economy. By including remittances in several standard models, the paper concludes that the overall macroeconomic impact of remittances is likely to be ambiguous. The impact depends on the structural characteristics of the receiving country, in particular its consumption and investment patterns, and its capacity to manage large financial inflows. As data deficiencies and methodological problems associated with remittances preclude crosscountry empirical investigation, the paper illustrates these findings with data on Tajikistan, where remittances as a share of GDP are among the highest in the world. The paper also evaluates the pros and cons of remittances in a broader political economy context.
International Monetary Fund
The Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix on Cape Verde review determinants of emigrant deposits (ED). EDs have provided a substantial source of foreign exchange to the Cape Verdean economy, and have been vital in maintaining the fixed exchange rate. Prospects for growth in Cape Verde are improving and immigration legislation abroad is tightening. Both trends argue against further accumulation of ED. Among the developments in favor of ED, of considerable importance is their past stability, the limited convertibility of deposits, the favorable business outlook, and the stable political climate.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Austria looks at the fiscal burden facing Austria owing to aging, and the policy steps necessary to address it. It gives a short description of the Austrian pension, health care, and long-term care systems, and describes how aging will affect the costs of these systems. It then analyzes the development of age-related spending and the sustainability of general government finances under different scenarios, and quantifies the primary adjustment required to keep public finances on a sustainable path in the long term.