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World Economic and Financial Surveys

Fiscal Monitor

Balancing Fiscal Policy Risks

April 2012

Overall, fiscal risks remain elevated, according to this issue of the Fiscal Monitor, although there are signs that in some key respects they are less acute than six months ago. Though past efforts with fiscal consolidation are beginning to bear fruit, debt ratios in many advanced economies are at historic levels and rising, borrowing requirements remain very large, financial markets continue to be in a state of alert, and downside risks to the global economy predominate. In this uncertain environment, fiscal policy must find the right balance between exploiting short-term space to support the fragile recovery and rebuilding longer-term space by advancing fiscal consolidation. Against that background, the issue examines in more detail the concept of fiscal space, or the scope that policymakers have to calibrate the pace of fiscal adjustment without undermining fiscal sustainability.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary



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©2011 International Monetary Fund

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