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Mr. Balazs Csonto and Mr. Camilo E Tovar Mora
Uphill capital flows constitute a key transmission channel through which reserve accumulation can distort the stability of the international monetary system. This paper examines and quantifies the importance of this transmission channel by examining how foreign official purchases of U.S. Treasuries influences the U.S. yield curve at different maturities. Our findings suggest that a percentage point increase in foreign official holdings relative to outstanding marketable securities reduces the term premium by 2.0–2.4 basis points at maturities of 2–3 years. These estimates are then used to gauge the role of a global policy in reducing excess reserve accumulation?e.g., a composite global reserve asset or through global liquidity facilities. Findings show that a policy that reduces the demand for Treasuries by $100 billion would increase yields by 1.5–1.8 basis points.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the fiscal situation in Curaçao and Sint Maarten remains relatively stable, following the debt relief in 2010, but progress on necessary fiscal and structural reforms has been slow. Curaçao experienced modest growth in 2015 of 0.1 percent, reflecting a turnaround from the contraction of 1.1 percent in 2014. The economy of Sint Maarten expanded by 0.5 percent in 2015, a slowdown compared with the 1.5 percent recorded in 2014. Real GDP growth in 2016 is expected to reach 0.5 percent in Curaçao and 0.7 percent in Sint Maarten. Over the medium term, growth is expected to pick up moderately to 0.9 percent and 1.3 percent for Curaçao and Sint Maarten, respectively.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
KEY ISSUES Context: The union’s current account deficit—the key economic vulnerability flagged in the previous (2011) consultation—has declined over the past few years, including thanks to fiscal adjustment in Curaçao. But it remains large. Curaçao’s growth and job creation remain lackluster, due to weak competitiveness, adverse sectoral trends (e.g., in the international financial center), red tape, and rigid labor laws. Sint Maarten’s tourism-based economy is recovering but remains vulnerable to shocks and suffers from weak administrative capacity—as underscored, for example, by weakening tax collection. Risks: Both Curaçao and, especially, Sint Maarten are exposed to shifts in tourism demand. Curaçao is vulnerable to the uncertain situation in Venezuela, its main trading partner. If long-discussed flexibility- and competitiveness-enhancing structural reforms are not implemented, both countries’ capacity to absorb shocks may prove limited, and pressures on FX reserves and, ultimately, the peg may intensify. Policy recommendations: Fiscal policies should entrench recent gains to facilitate continued external adjustment (especially in Curaçao) and build buffers against shocks. Curaçao should extend the reform of its pension system to public sector workers, further streamline its administrative apparatus, and address weak governance and finances in state companies. Sint Maarten needs to increase revenues to support an expanding administration, including through stronger tax collection and greater contribution from its profitable state companies. The common central bank must monitor closely the deterioration in banks’ loan portfolios and refrain from direct financing of non-financial companies. It should also use more standard sterilization tools to control banks’ excess liquidity. Urgent action is required to lower the cost of doing business and remove pervasive disincentives to both supply and demand of labor.
International Monetary Fund
The two newly autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands face substantial challenges. Growth has been low, and unemployment high. The current account deficit has widened to worrisome levels, increasing the vulnerability of the peg to the U.S. dollar and stimulating calls for dollarizing or dissolving the currency union. A substantial adjustment is needed to bring the underlying current account deficit to historically sustainable levels over the medium term. This could be facilitated by measures to restrain credit growth, supported by fiscal consolidation.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix explores four policy issues—fiscal policy, public sector pension reforms, monetary management, and labor market performance—which are crucial for understanding the recent performance of the economy of the Netherlands Antilles and which will need to be addressed to restore the prospect of durable economic growth. The paper reviews experience with fiscal adjustment in the Netherlands Antilles, focusing in particular on the 1996–97 adjustment program. The paper also analyzes the sustainability of the public pension system of the country.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The IMF, in cooperation with other concerned organizations, set up a working party to investigate and improve the statistical procedures being used, and to recommend compilation procedures that would make nations' balance of payments statistics more consistent with one another. In addition to detailed explanations of its findings and recommendations, the Report contains extensive statistical appendices and 109 tables.