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IMF Staff Concludes 2019 Discussions with the West African Economic and Monetary Union on Common Policies for Member Countries

5-6 minutes January 24, 2019 Inflation has remained low reflecting the peg to the Euro, but also continued solid agricultural production and the limited passthrough of higher world oil prices. Fiscal consolidation efforts are estimated to have led to a reduction of the aggregate fiscal deficit to 3.9 percent of GDP in 2018 from 4.3 percent of GDP in 2017. However, growth remains subject to downside risks, including delays in implementing national reform programs, further security concerns as well as uncertainties on global growth and international financial market conditions. A staff team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), headed by Ms. Céline Allard visited Ouagadougou, Abidjan, Dakar and Cotonou from January 10 to 24, 2019 for discussions with the institutions of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) on Common Policies for Member Countries of the Union. At the conclusion of the missi

IMF Executive Board Concludes 2018 Article IV Consultation with Finland

39-49 minutes January 16, 2019 On January 11, 2019 , the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with Finland. [1] Finland is enjoying its third consecutive year of economic recovery. The employment rate has picked up sharply and the unemployment rate has declined to its lowest level since 2011. Wages have started to recover, but inflation remains low. Export market shares have improved slightly leading to a pickup in exports, while stronger tax revenues and lower spending, including on unemployment benefits, have improved fiscal balances. Growth in 2018 is expected to be 2.4 percent, then 1.9 percent in 2019 as global demand slows and financial conditions tighten. There are downside risks to this outlook, particularly from the global environment: an increase in protectionism could weaken demand for Finnish exports and damage confidence, and higher bank funding costs could mea

Malta—Concluding Statement of the 2019 Article IV Mission

13-16 minutes January 16, 2019 A Concluding Statement describes the preliminary findings of IMF staff at the end of an official staff visit (or ‘mission’), in most cases to a member country. Missions are undertaken as part of regular (usually annual) consultations under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, in the context of a request to use IMF resources (borrow from the IMF), as part of discussions of staff monitored programs, or as part of other staff monitoring of economic developments. The authorities have consented to the publication of this statement. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF Executive Board for discussion and decision. Malta’s econo