United States

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United States. "The 2014 Article IV Consultation focused on five broad themes to strengthen the recovery and improve the long-term outlook: raising productivity growth and labor force participation, confronting poverty, keeping public debt on a sustained downward path, smoothly managing the exit from zero policy rates, and securing a safer financial system. Main policy issues. Policies are needed to boost longer-term potential output through investments in infrastructure, raising educational outcomes, improving the tax structure, and developing and expanding a skilled labor force (including through immigration reform, job training, and providing childcare assistance for working families). Forging agreement on a credible, medium-term consolidation plan should be a high priority and include steps to lower the growth of health care costs, reform social security, and increase revenues. In the absence of such a comprehensive agreement, efforts should still focus on identifying more modest opportunities to relax the near- term budget envelope, paid for with future fiscal savings. An enduring consequence of the past recession has been a jump in the number of families living in poverty. Improved employment prospects and economic growth will be essential to reverse this upward movement. An expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and an increase in the minimum wage should also be part of the solution. The goal for monetary policy is to manage the exit from zero interest rates in a manner that allows the economy to converge to full employment with stable prices while avoiding financial instability and negative spillovers to the global economy. This is a complex undertaking. To facilitate it, steps could be taken to expand the Fed's communications toolkit so as to provide greater clarity on how the Federal Open Market Committee assesses progress toward its longer-run goals. Continued regulatory oversight is needed to counter the emergence of financial imbalances, particularly those that may be growing outside of the banking system. Policies should also be deployed to keep mortgage credit accessible and attract more private capital into housing finance while minimizing risks to taxpayers. The U.S. external position is assessed to be broadly consistent with medium-term fundamentals and desirable policies"--Abstract.

Belgium 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1475525265
Size: 52.57 MB
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Belgium 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release. The 2014 Article IV Consultation discusses economic developments and policies in Belgium. It highlights that despite its resilience, the Belgium economy has been losing competitiveness due to higher labor cost and lower productivity growths than peer countries. The government has taken measures to close the wage gap, but it is highlighted that the economy also needs to become more productive and adaptable through deeper product and labor market reforms. The supervisory and regulatory frameworks are being strengthened with a new draft banking law that restrains trading activities and improves the recovery and resolution framework.

Singapore 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Singapore

Author: International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498376789
Size: 22.27 MB
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Singapore 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Singapore. KEY ISSUES Outlook and risks. Following an upturn in 2013, growth is expected to moderate somewhat during 2014-2015, narrowing the positive output gap. The impact of recovering demand in advanced economies is likely to be offset by the ongoing real appreciation of the currency and the gradual tightening in global monetary conditions. Transitional costs related to the economic restructuring (see next paragraph) are also expected to dampen growth in the near term. As a very open economy, Singapore is particularly exposed to external risks related to a protracted period of slower growth in advanced and emerging economies, a continued buildup and eventual unwinding of excess capacity in China, an abrupt surge in financial market volatility as investors reassess underlying risks, and geopolitical risks. Medium- and long-term challenges. The authorities focus squarely on the implementation of their medium-term economic restructuring plan. With the aim to boost the productivity of labor and land, the plan could set the stage for a new era of sustainable growth. However, productivity improvements may take some time to materialize. For example, the slowing inflow of foreign workers, a key part of the reform agenda, could moderate potential growth and lower competitiveness in light of the tight labor market. The social safety net is being strengthened in the context of a rapidly aging population. Policy assessment. Singapore continues to implement a strong set of macroeconomic and financial sector policies. The moderately tight monetary policy remains appropriate but the fiscal stance is looser than would be warranted by cyclical considerations. The 2014 budget focuses on noncyclical considerations, including support for companies’ efforts to raise productivity and additional social spending on healthcare for the elderly. The authorities’ plan to raise social and infrastructure spending by 1-2 percent of GDP over the medium term should help reduce the large current account surplus. Financial regulation and supervision is among the best globally and Singapore is a frontrunner in implementing global regulatory reforms. Macroprudential policies have contributed to cool the housing and car permit markets and good progress has been made in implementing key short•term FSAP recommendations.

Mexico 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report And Press Release

Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484393872
Size: 54.93 MB
Format: PDF
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Mexico 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report And Press Release. This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that after a sharp slowdown in 2013, growth in Mexico is projected to recover to 2.4 percent this year. The strong recovery in the United States in the second quarter of 2014 has triggered a rebound in Mexico’s manufacturing production and exports. In addition, construction activity is firming up, supported by a rebound of residential investment and an increase of government spending on infrastructure. Mexico’s external position remains broadly consistent with fundamentals and desirable policy settings. In 2014, the current account deficit is projected to remain unchanged with an improving trade balance offset by a continued increase in factor payments.

Costa Rica 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release Staff Statement And Statement By The Executive Director For Costa Rica

Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498336523
Size: 35.48 MB
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Costa Rica 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release Staff Statement And Statement By The Executive Director For Costa Rica. The economy recovered quickly from the global crisis of 2008–09, with healthy growth and low inflation. Growth has, however, slowed recently and is expected to remain subdued in the short run, since gains from recovery in the U.S. will be offset by the closure of the Intel manufacturing plant. Inflation is elevated, owing primarily to exchange rate (XR) depreciation triggered by global repricing of emerging market assets in early 2014. Risks to the outlook are tilted to the downside. Absent consolidation, large fiscal deficits would make public debt dynamics unsustainable in the long-run.

South Africa 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Informational Annex Debt Sustainability Analysis Staff Statement Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For South Africa

Author: International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1475569149
Size: 43.48 MB
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South Africa 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Informational Annex Debt Sustainability Analysis Staff Statement Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For South Africa. This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that South Africa’s growth has slowed in recent years, specifically relative to other emerging markets. Although weak trading partners’ growth contributed to the slowdown, increasingly binding structural constraints, such as protracted strikes and electricity constraints, have been important factors. Unemployment remains high at 25.5 percent. Notwithstanding expenditure discipline, the general government budget deficit was 4.5 percent of GDP in 2013, and public debt rose to 45 percent of GDP from 27 percent in 2008. The outlook is lackluster with considerable risks. Growth is projected to slow to 1.4 percent in 2014 and rebound only modestly to 2.1 percent in 2015 on improved industrial relations.

United States 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release

Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484347870
Size: 34.33 MB
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United States 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release. Focus. The 2014 Article IV Consultation focused on five broad themes to strengthen the recovery and improve the long-term outlook: raising productivity growth and labor force participation, confronting poverty, keeping public debt on a sustained downward path, smoothly managing the exit from zero policy rates, and securing a safer financial system. Main policy issues. • Policies are needed to boost longer-term potential output through investments in infrastructure, raising educational outcomes, improving the tax structure, and developing and expanding a skilled labor force (including through immigration reform, job training, and providing childcare assistance for working families). • Forging agreement on a credible, medium-term consolidation plan should be a high priority and include steps to lower the growth of health care costs, reform social security, and increase revenues. In the absence of such a comprehensive agreement, efforts should still focus on identifying more modest opportunities to relax the near- term budget envelope, paid for with future fiscal savings. • An enduring consequence of the past recession has been a jump in the number of families living in poverty. Improved employment prospects and economic growth will be essential to reverse this upward movement. An expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit and an increase in the minimum wage should also be part of the solution. • The goal for monetary policy is to manage the exit from zero interest rates in a manner that allows the economy to converge to full employment with stable prices while avoiding financial instability and negative spillovers to the global economy. This is a complex undertaking. To facilitate it, steps could be taken to expand the Fed’s communications toolkit so as to provide greater clarity on how the Federal Open Market Committee assesses progress toward its longer-run goals. • Continued regulatory oversight is needed to counter the emergence of financial imbalances, particularly those that may be growing outside of the banking system. Policies should also be deployed to keep mortgage credit accessible and attract more private capital into housing finance while minimizing risks to taxpayers. • The U.S. external position is assessed to be broadly consistent with medium-term fundamentals and desirable policies.

El Salvador 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Authorities Of El Salvador

Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484389050
Size: 20.36 MB
Format: PDF
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El Salvador 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Authorities Of El Salvador. KEY ISSUES Focus: The main themes centered on tackling macroeconomic vulnerabilities and improving the medium-term outlook by achieving an ambitious fiscal adjustment while protecting social spending, creating an environment for higher private sector-led growth, and building a robust financial sector. Main policy issues • A reduction in the fiscal deficit of 3½ percent of GDP is needed over the next three years to place public debt on a sustainable path to maintain access to market financing on favorable terms. This adjustment should be accompanied by well- targeted social spending to protect the most vulnerable and continued progress in lessening inequality. • A broad strategy is also needed to reduce the growing imbalances in the pension system and restore its sustainability for future generations. In this regard, a broad- based dialog across all segments of Salvadoran society is needed to build support for a reform that should include an increase in the retirement age and introduce a progressive taxation of benefits. Steps are also needed to further strengthen public financial management to mitigate key fiscal risks, including by enhancing expenditure monitoring and control (to avoid future spending arrears) and recording contingent fiscal liabilities transparently in the fiscal accounts. • The authorities’ goal of raising potential growth to 3 percent while reducing inequality will require substantial supply-side measures to enhance productivity and competitiveness. These should aim to reduce red-tape, increase access to credit, upgrade infrastructure, provide access to and lower the cost of energy, and diversifying the economy. The FOMILENIO II grant from the U.S. provides a valuable opportunity to catalyze such growth-enhancing reforms. • Banking indicators appear sound, a product of prudent supervision and regulation. Nonetheless, there is scope to further strengthen the institutional underpinnings for financial stability by upgrading the legal framework for bank resolution and by creating an appropriate liquidity safety net for banks.

Republic Of Azerbaijan 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release

Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498365868
Size: 26.56 MB
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Republic Of Azerbaijan 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release. This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that recent economic developments in Azerbaijan have been favorable. In 2013, a stabilization of oil output and strong non-oil growth at nearly 10 percent helped lift overall GDP growth to 5.8 percent. Inflation remained low, averaging 2.4 percent, restrained by soft food prices and a stable exchange rate. The impact of regional market turbulence in early 2014 has been limited, with few signs of lower manat demand or capital flight. Economic prospects over the near and medium term are positive, if underpinned by fiscal consolidation and supported by reforms to spur non-oil private sector activity.

Republic Of Palau 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For The Republic Of Palau

Author: International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484370341
Size: 80.41 MB
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Republic Of Palau 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For The Republic Of Palau. This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that after two years of strong expansion, growth is estimated at about zero percent in the fiscal year 2013 (FY2013, ending in September) in the Republic of Palau owing to declines in construction and tourism. Inflation moderated to 2¾ percent (annual average) in FY2013 thanks to stable international food and fuel prices, and it is expected to stay at about 3 percent in FY2014. Growth is projected to increase to 1¾ percent in FY2014 and to 2¼–2½ percent over the medium term driven by the recovery in tourism and infrastructure developments.