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: 21.23 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: 29.90 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.

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: 14.85 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.

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

Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484354818
Size: 16.56 MB
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Trinidad And Tobago 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Trinidad And Tobago. KEY ISSUES The economy is embarking on sustainable growth, but the main challenge will be to boost long-run growth by structural reforms and reorienting fiscal policy. Supply-side slowdowns in the energy sector are ending, while available evidence suggests non-energy growth is robust and economic slack is being used up. Non-energy growth should settle around a long-term 2–2½ percent per annum rate, while new energy sector investment may begin to bear significant fruit over the medium term. Headline inflation is trending down (in part for statistical reasons), while core inflation remains moderate. Domestic risks are to the upside. The main medium-term external risk would be a sustained decline in energy prices. With excess capacity in the labor market significantly diminished, the time is drawing near for policy tightening. Although ad hoc measures will reduce the budget deficit this fiscal year, the underlying baseline suggests a growing overall imbalance and unsustainable debt accumulation on unchanged policies, although the authorities have announced their intention to pursue fiscal consolidation. The CBTT will have to carefully consider how to tighten the monetary stance given high excess bank liquidity. Sustainable growth requires re-configuring fiscal policy, although achieving this will be challenging for the time being in view of national elections due in 2015. Ad hoc measures should be replaced with policies that durably improve non energy-based revenues and spending. The proceeds from extracting non-renewable resources should be saved and invested as a stepping stone to lasting prosperity. Fuel subsidies need to be curtailed and social programs rationalized. Non-energy sector tax bases should be broadened and tax expenditures limited. Greater flexibility is needed in the foreign exchange market. Despite sizable reserves, foreign exchange shortages, which impose unnecessary economic costs, have recurred. There is no concrete evidence of either a parallel market or arrears on foreign exchange, and the CBTT has recently sold foreign exchange with the objective to clear the market, but a recurrence of the situation could indicate the existence of an exchange restriction. The CBTT can address the problem through increased flexibility in the foreign exchange system. Structural reforms are underway, but more are needed to foster a diversified economic base. Financial sector reform is advancing, including expanding the CBTT’s regulatory perimeter to systemically important non-bank financial institutions. Recent streamlining of regulations that have hampered business activity is welcomed, but needs to be further advanced. Government operations are increasingly hamstrung by a poorly functioning civil service. Perceptions of corruption can be reduced by adopting a transparent procurement process. Programs that mask underemployment should be replaced with more effective training. Growing statistical shortcomings have rendered the conduct of surveillance ever harder, and must be addressed.

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: 14.58 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.

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

Author: International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498326951
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Tonga 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Tonga. KEY ISSUES Context: Tonga’s economy is rebounding, partially owing to a recovery in agricultural exports. The outlook for tourism is also improving. The reconstruction from a recent cyclone is expected to lead to both a temporary boost to growth and additional financing needs. Risks to the inflation outlook and the external position are low. Fiscal Policy: The projected fiscal cost relating to the cyclone will be largely met by confirmed funding mainly from donor agencies. In the near term, the authorities should focus on reconstruction activities, while a medium-term fiscal strategy should aim at gradually stabilizing and then reducing the debt-to-GDP ratio, in order to improve Tonga’s moderate risk of debt distress. This will require careful execution of investments related to the 2019 South Pacific Games. Monetary Policy: The deleveraging cycle of the Tongan banks appears to be ending, and thus National Reserve Bank of Tonga should prepare to gradually withdraw liquidity and tighten monetary conditions once the current signs of a recovery of credit growth are confirmed. The authorities plan to lower the cost of credit through supportive credit policies, including by commercializing the Tonga Development Bank. The successful implementation of such plan requires sound safeguards, including a robust governance structure and firm risk management and accountability frameworks. Structural Policy: Structural reforms to facilitate the functioning of credit markets need to be implemented with renewed vigor. The authorities’ intention to gradually phase out existing ad hoc tax incentives is well placed. The promotion of foreign direct investments should focus on business-enabling structural reforms, while the use of tax incentives should be minimized and well targeted.

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

Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498385117
Size: 14.36 MB
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Algeria 2014 Article Iv Consultation Staff Report Press Release And Statement By The Executive Director For Algeria. This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic activity in Algeria has picked up in 2014, with real GDP growth projected to reach 4 percent following 2.8 percent growth in 2013. The hydrocarbon sector is expected to expand for the first time in eight years, while nonhydrocarbon growth remains supportive. Inflation has decelerated sharply to 2.1 percent, thanks in part to tighter monetary policy. The fiscal deficit is expected to widen to more than 7 percent owing to lower hydrocarbon revenue, a sharp increase in capital expenditure, and continued high current spending. Fiscal savings are expected to decline for the second consecutive year.

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: 27.75 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: 68.66 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.