Joint CEF-FAD Webinar on "Fiscal Monitor: Helping People Bounce Back"
The IMF-Middle East Center for Economics and Finance (IMF-CEF) and the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) held a joint webinar titled "IMF’s Fiscal Monitor: Helping People Bounce Back" on February 7, 2023.
Mr. Paulo Drummond, Director of the CEF, gave opening remarks and Mr. Mohamed Belhaj, Senior Economist at the CEF, moderated the event. The first speaker, Mr. Raphael Lam, is Deputy Division Chief at FAD and the second speaker, Mr. Roberto Piazza, is Senior Economist at FAD.
Mr. Lam started by highlighting recent macro-fiscal developments and outlook. Global growth is bottoming out in 2023 and inflation is peaking. While global financial conditions have eased in recent months, debt vulnerabilities remain high with rising interest cost. Recent energy and food price spike has put pressure on budgets for nonoil exporters.
Mr. Piazza then shared early lessons from the pandemic. Fiscal policy can be swift and impactful. Fiscal support during the pandemic helped protect households and firms, reduce income inequality and extreme poverty. Job-retention schemes proved effective and well-targeted, making them a useful fiscal tool in face of a crisis.
The speakers then mentioned how fiscal policy can contribute to a resilient society in which people can bounce back from adversity. They recommended comprehensive strategies within medium-term fiscal frameworks and scalable social protection system, but also building fiscal buffers and a return to credible fiscal rules.
The floor then opened for discussion with a diverse audience from the region, including participants from the public sector, the banking and business community, academia, as well as representatives from the diplomatic corps, offices of international and regional organizations in the region, and the civil society.
In closing, Mr. Belhaj thanked the speaker for his insights on this important topic and members of the audience for the lively discussions.
For more details about the webinar, please refer to the following links:
IMF-CEF-ATI Webinar on Lessons from Success Cases
CEF-STA Joint Webinar
CEF-MCD Joint Webinar on IMF's Regional Economic Outlook Report