Saturday, March 23, 2013

23/3/2013: IMF 9th Review of Ireland's Programme

IMF Completed 9th Review with Ireland:

"Ireland’s strong policy implementation has continued and positive signs are emerging. Real GDP growth was 0.9 percent in 2012, and employment rose slightly over the year, although unemployment remains high at 14.2 percent. Further deepening its market access, Ireland issued €5 billion of 10 year bonds at 4.15 percent in March."

"The 2012 fiscal deficit of 7¾ percent of GDP was well within the 8.6 percent target. In 2013, the fiscal deficit is projected at 6¾ percent of GDP, moving toward the target of below 3 percent by 2015.  Public debt is expected to peak at 122½  percent of GDP this year and decline in later years provided growth picks up from the 1 percent rate projected in 2013."

"Financial sector reforms have continued to advance, but banks remain weighed down by nonperforming loans at about 25 percent of total loans." Per Mr. David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair:

"…problem loans remain high and accelerating their resolution is a key to economic recovery. The recent establishment of mortgage loan restructuring targets for banks is therefore welcome, and it will be supported by reforms announced by authorities that facilitate constructive engagement between banks and borrowers, promote the efficiency of repossession procedures as a last resort, provide banks with the right incentives through provisioning rules, and by sound implementation of the personal insolvency reform. Progress with resolution efforts for SME loans is also a priority.

“Building on the strong budget outturn for 2012, sound budget execution remains critical in 2013, including continued vigilance on health spending and a successful introduction of the property tax...

“Prospects for Ireland’s exit from official support have improved, yet continued strong policy implementation remains paramount given risks to medium-term growth and debt sustainability. Timely and forceful delivery on European pledges to improve program sustainability, especially by breaking the vicious circle between the banks and the Irish sovereign, would go a long way toward Ireland’s durable exit from drawing on official support.”

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