The sharp increase in fiscal deficits and public debt in most advanced and several developing economies has raised concerns about the sustainability of public finances and highlighted the need for a significant adjustment over the medium term. This paper assesses the usefulness of fiscal rules in supporting fiscal consolidation, discusses the design and implementation of rules based on a new data base spanning the whole Fund membership, and explores the fiscal framework that could be adopted as countries emerge from the crisis.
Uruguay is currently in the midst of a dual transition. First, there is an economic transition from the 2002 crisis towards a path of equitable and sustainable development, as the economy continues to recover strongly. Second, there is a political transition, as the victory of the Frente Amplio – Encuentro Progresista – Nueva Mayoría coalition in the October 2004 elections marked a new phase in the country’s political history.
The FY03-05 CAS and the FY06-07 ISN were aligned around Nicaragua’s first Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) which was later revised and renamed the National Development Plan in 2005. Although Nicaragua’s core objective to reduce extreme poverty was not achieved to the extent desirable, achievements were made across the program with considerable progress in promoting a stable macroeconomic environment, reducing the fiscal deficit significantly, and lowering external debt to sustainable levels by achieving the HIPC Completion Point and obtaining further debt reduction through the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI). Growth has been modest averaging around 3.2 percent per year since 2002, and exports have doubled. Though the Bank was instrumental in the increase of poverty spending from 9.6 percent of GDP in 2002 to 13.6 percent in 2006, greater expenditure has yet to translate into significant gains in poverty reduction.