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

Lebanon  2014 Article IV Consultation Staff Report  Press Release  and Statement by the Executive Director for Lebanon PDF
Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498323219
Size: 33.85 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 72
View: 7265

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KEY ISSUES Context: The economy is being severely tested by the Syria crisis. The refugee influx has reached one quarter of the population, fueling already high unemployment and poverty. The political impasse from the presidential elections—following months of negotiations over a new government—adds to the uncertainty. The economy is meanwhile suffering from a broad-based deterioration, with subdued growth and widening fiscal imbalances. Public debt is on the rise. Progress on structural reforms has been limited. On the positive side, deposit inflows have held up and foreign exchange reserves are sizeable; and security conditions have significantly improved, lifting tourism prospects. Key challenges: There is an urgent need for fiscal adjustment to achieve a sustainable debt reduction, and structural reforms to boost growth and address social inequities. Key policy recommendations: • Fiscal policy. The immediate priority is to stop the fiscal deterioration and return to primary surpluses, to avoid a possible loss of market confidence and put debt on a sustainable path. The consolidation strategy should minimize the impact of a planned salary increase for the public sector; include broad-based and non- distortionary revenue measures; and rebalance expenditure away from electricity transfers toward capital and social spending, to promote inclusive growth. Passing a budget for 2014 would help anchor confidence. Fiscal management should be strengthened and anchored in a medium-term perspective. • Monetary policy. The Banque du Liban (BdL) should continue to maintain high foreign exchange reserves as a buffer and signal of commitment to macro-financial stability. It should gradually withdraw from T-bill auctions, and adopt a strategy to improve its balance sheet over time. • Financial sector. Capital buffers should be strengthened, and the loan classification and restructuring rules and the AML/CFT regime further enhanced. • Structural reforms. Reforms in the electricity sector and the labor market are imperative to address current competitiveness pressures, lay the foundations for higher-productivity growth, and improve social conditions. • Refugee crisis. Lebanon cannot shoulder the costs of the massive inflow of Syrian refugees alone, and international budget support is needed. Strong government commitment to adjustment and reforms—along with a concerted policy framework to deal with the refugee crisis—would bolster credibility and help mobilize support.

Lebanon

Lebanon PDF
Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484368282
Size: 37.41 MB
Format: PDF
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 72
View: 5893

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KEY ISSUES Context: The economy is being severely tested by the Syria crisis. The refugee influx has reached one quarter of the population, fueling already high unemployment and poverty. The political impasse from the presidential elections—following months of negotiations over a new government—adds to the uncertainty. The economy is meanwhile suffering from a broad-based deterioration, with subdued growth and widening fiscal imbalances. Public debt is on the rise. Progress on structural reforms has been limited. On the positive side, deposit inflows have held up and foreign exchange reserves are sizeable; and security conditions have significantly improved, lifting tourism prospects. Key challenges: There is an urgent need for fiscal adjustment to achieve a sustainable debt reduction, and structural reforms to boost growth and address social inequities. Key policy recommendations: • Fiscal policy. The immediate priority is to stop the fiscal deterioration and return to primary surpluses, to avoid a possible loss of market confidence and put debt on a sustainable path. The consolidation strategy should minimize the impact of a planned salary increase for the public sector; include broad-based and non- distortionary revenue measures; and rebalance expenditure away from electricity transfers toward capital and social spending, to promote inclusive growth. Passing a budget for 2014 would help anchor confidence. Fiscal management should be strengthened and anchored in a medium-term perspective. • Monetary policy. The Banque du Liban (BdL) should continue to maintain high foreign exchange reserves as a buffer and signal of commitment to macro-financial stability. It should gradually withdraw from T-bill auctions, and adopt a strategy to improve its balance sheet over time. • Financial sector. Capital buffers should be strengthened, and the loan classification and restructuring rules and the AML/CFT regime further enhanced. • Structural reforms. Reforms in the electricity sector and the labor market are imperative to address current competitiveness pressures, lay the foundations for higher-productivity growth, and improve social conditions. • Refugee crisis. Lebanon cannot shoulder the costs of the massive inflow of Syrian refugees alone, and international budget support is needed. Strong government commitment to adjustment and reforms—along with a concerted policy framework to deal with the refugee crisis—would bolster credibility and help mobilize support.

Sustainability And Equity Challenges

Sustainability and Equity Challenges PDF
Author: Mariusz Jarmuzek
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 151354148X
Size: 75.12 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 20
View: 5549

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Reform of Lebanon’s pension system is indispensable. The country already faces fiscal sustainability risks, which will be compounded in the future by significantly higher pensionrelated spending and liabilities, mainly reflecting adverse demographics. In addition to sustainability issues, the pension system also suffers from equity shortcomings—Lebanon is the only MENA country that does not offer social security for retirees in the private sector. While several reform proposals have been formulated since the early 2000s, none has been implemented to date. Costs mount with every year of delay, so action is required soon to address these challenges.

Ecuador

Ecuador PDF
Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1513519077
Size: 60.43 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 79
View: 1394

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This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that since the fourth quarter of 2014, the economy of Ecuador has been hit by external shocks and is slowing down. The sharp decline in the international oil price, by about half for the Ecuadorian mix, significantly undercut oil revenues. In addition, competitiveness is being eroded by the real appreciation of the exchange rate. In the face of the economic slowdown, bank liquidity conditions have tightened, credit growth has slowed, and nonperforming loans have risen. Despite the slowdown, inflation is picking up. Owing to the shocks and expected adjustment, the economy is projected to contract somewhat in 2015, while the external position deteriorates.

Islamic Republic Of Iran

Islamic Republic of Iran PDF
Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1513575058
Size: 67.11 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 67
View: 1020

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This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic activity in Iran has slowed down significantly since the fourth quarter of 2014/15 owing to sharp decline in global oil prices, tight corporate and bank balance sheets, and postponed consumption and investment decisions ahead of the expected lifting of economic sanctions. Twelve-month (point-to-point) inflation has declined to about 10 percent in recent months, largely reflecting lower food and beverage inflation, and the inflation rate is expected to remain close to 14 percent by year-end. Prospects for 2016/17 are brighter, owing to the prospective lifting of economic sanctions.

United Kingdom

United Kingdom PDF
Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1475595921
Size: 25.34 MB
Format: PDF
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 65
View: 2513

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Considerable progress has been achieved in the post-crisis repair of the UK economy. Private-sector indebtedness has been reduced, the financial sector regulatory framework has been overhauled, the fiscal deficit has been cut in half, and the employment rate has reached a record high. With the output gap now nearly closed, growth is expected to average near its potential rate of around 21⁄4 percent over the medium term, with inflation rising slowly from its current low levels to the 2 percent target by end-2017. However, this benign baseline is subject to risks, including those related to potential shocks to global growth and asset prices, still-high levels of household debt, the elevated current account deficit, and the degree to which productivity growth will recover. Uncertainty associated with the outcome of the forthcoming referendum on EU membership could also weigh on the outlook. Continued efforts are needed to complete the post-crisis repair, promote growth, and further bolster resilience.

Maldives

Maldives PDF
Author: International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1498381618
Size: 38.38 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 73
View: 4730

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This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Maldives’ real economy has picked up. Growth is estimated to have reached 5 percent in 2014 with stronger tourism activity driven by a rapid expansion from Asian markets and a tepid recovery from Europe. The IMF staff expects growth to be about 5 percent in 2015. Weaker import prices have pushed down inflation to low levels. Growth is expected to remain relatively strong in the near term, though the fiscal adjustment envisaged in the 2015 Budget will have a mildly negative effect on growth.

Panama

Panama PDF
Author: International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1475550855
Size: 80.33 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 69
View: 4695

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This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights Panama’s expected continued growth—among the strongest in Latin America—against a backdrop of low inflation, a stable financial system, and a declining current account deficit. GDP grew by 5.8 percent in 2015, and growth is projected to remain at about 6 percent in 2016 and over the medium term. The economy will be supported by the expected opening of the expanded canal and lower fuel prices. The overall fiscal deficit is expected to consolidate to 1.2 percent of GDP over the medium term. Public debt is projected as sustainable.

Cyprus

Cyprus PDF
Author: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1484303261
Size: 13.90 MB
Format: PDF
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 51
View: 3412

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The economic recovery has strengthened since Cyprus exited the Fund-supported program 15 months ago. Broad-based growth and improved external competitiveness have reduced unemployment. The fiscal position is in small surplus. External adjustment has continued, and borrowing costs for the public and private sectors have moderated. While the stock of credit continues to decline, returning confidence in the banks has encouraged deposit inflows.

Tunisia

Tunisia PDF
Author: International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Publisher: International Monetary Fund
ISBN: 1513570609
Size: 21.73 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 97
View: 3992

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The pandemic aggravated Tunisia’s long-standing vulnerabilities stemming from persistent fiscal and external imbalances, rising debt, and contingent liabilities from inefficient state-owned enterprises. The crisis is expected to induce the largest contraction in real GDP since independence. The authorities’ targeted response together with higher outlays on wages widened the fiscal deficit. A second Covid-19 wave is underway. The authorities are securing 500,000 doses to start a first campaign of vaccinations in February and are aiming to secure more doses to vaccinate half of the population starting in April–May. Staff expects GDP growth to rebound modestly in 2021, but it could take years before activity returns to pre-crisis levels, especially if large imbalances were not addressed and key reforms delayed. Downside risks dominate and recent protests highlight the level of social tensions, aggravated by Covid-19 restrictions, and particularly among the youth.