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.

United States 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release

Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484347870
Size: 78.15 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.

Belgium 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1475525265
Size: 33.35 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.

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

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498362230
Size: 72.15 MB
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Switzerland 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Switzerland. This 2014 Article IV Consultation outlines that the growth of the Swiss economy has gathered pace, but inflation remains close to zero. The recovery is expected to continue and inflation should rise gradually although the output gap will progressively close. The fiscal position is healthy, with a broadly neutral stance projected for 2014. Despite improved market confidence toward the euro area and tapering in the United States, the exchange rate has remained close to the floor. The authorities have taken several measures to contain risks, including raising the countercyclical capital buffer and adopting prudential measures to tighten lending standards and conditions.

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

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1475552165
Size: 18.91 MB
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Denmark 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Denmark. This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Danish economy is recovering slowly and unevenly. The economy contracted slightly in 2013, but it looks likely to accelerate modestly in 2014. Growth is held down by a trend decline in North Sea oil and gas production as well as exports to euro-area partners. At the same time, private domestic demand and non-oil exports are supporting growth. The recovery is likely to continue but remain fragile. Annual growth is estimated at 0.7 percent in 2014, projected to increase to 1.4 percent in 2015, and trend to slightly above 2 percent thereafter.

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: 23.68 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.

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: 46.44 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: 60.15 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.

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

Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1616354259
Size: 72.52 MB
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Islamic Republic Of Afghanistan 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For The Islamic Republic Of Afghanistan. KEY ISSUES Context. Over the past decade, Afghanistan has made enormous progress in reconstruction, development and lifting per capita income. Security and political uncertainties, and weak institutions have constrained growth and weighed on social outcomes. With significant reform efforts and donor support, Afghanistan has maintained macroeconomic stability, implemented important structural reforms, and built policy buffers, but significant vulnerabilities remain. The IMF has been supporting Afghanistan through technical assistance and a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. Reviews under the ECF arrangement have been delayed. Outlook and risks. 2014 is a crucial year in the political and security transitions and the run-up to the “transformation decade” (2015–24). Assuming smooth political and security transitions, continued reform and donor financing, the outlook should be positive. Large security and development expenditure needs and a limited domestic revenue capacity mean that Afghanistan will remain dependent on donor financing for an extended period. Macroeconomic stability, structural reforms, and political and security stability are needed to ensure inclusive growth. Risks, mostly on the downside, are related to adverse domestic or regional security developments, political instability, inadequate implementation of economic policies, and donor fatigue. Policy recommendations. The authorities’ economic strategy (maintaining macroeconomic stability, strengthening the financial sector, improving economic governance, and moving toward fiscal sustainability) remains appropriate and needs strengthened implementation. Sustained implementation of this strategy will safeguard growth and build buffers to help manage shocks. Policies should continue to aim at strengthening revenue collection, managing money growth to control inflation while preserving exchange rate flexibility, strengthening bank supervision, and quickly enacting anti-money laundering (AML), countering financing of terrorism (CFT), banking, central bank, and value-added tax legislation.

Russian Federation 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Informational Annex Press Release

Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498396828
Size: 45.65 MB
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Russian Federation 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Informational Annex Press Release. This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Russian Federation’s growth slowdown that began in 2011, reflecting structural constraints, continued in 2013 despite accommodative policies. Real GDP growth slowed to 1.3 percent owing to a contraction in investment while consumption remained robust owing to strong real wage growth and an unsecured consumer credit boom. The general government balance moved from a modest surplus in 2012 to a deficit of slightly more than 1 percent of GDP in 2013. The IMF staff projects real GDP growth at 0.2 percent in 2014 with considerable downside risks.