<img src= 

How does the IMF give policy advice?

A core responsibility of the IMF is monitoring the economic and financial policies of member countries and providing them with policy advice, an activity known as surveillance. As part of this process, which also takes place at the global and regional levels, the IMF identifies potential risks and recommends appropriate policy adjustments to sustain economic growth and promote financial stability.

Want to know more? Check out the latest surveillance press releases.

<img src= 

Why is IMF monitoring important?

Vigilant monitoring by the IMF is essential to identifying risks that may require remedial policy adjustments. International cooperation on these efforts is critical in today’s globally integrated economy, in which the problems or policies of one country can affect many others. IMF membership, which includes nearly all the world’s nations, can facilitate this cooperation. 

IMF monitoring focuses on individual countries or bilateral surveillance, and the global economy or multilateral surveillance.

Want to know more? Check out this video on how the IMF monitors the global economy.


IMF staff engage in comprehensive discussions with various groups to better evaluate each country's economic policies and outlook.

Surveillance 3

Country-level oversight or bilateral surveillance

IMF monitoring typically involves annual visits to member countries. During these visits IMF staff have discussions with government and central bank officials about risks to domestic and global stability and policies and reforms to address those risks.

These discussions focus on exchange rate, monetary, fiscal, and financial policies, as well as structural reforms. Discussions also extend to developments in other areas that are critical for economic and financial stability, such as climate change or digitalization. IMF staff typically meet with members of the legislature, representatives from business, labor unions, and civil society. Comprehensive discussions with a broad array of groups leads to better evaluations of each country’s economic policies and outlook.

After completing their evaluation, IMF staff present a report to the Executive Board for discussion. The Board’s views on the report are provided to the country’s authorities, concluding a process known as an Article IV Consultation. In the interest of transparency, most member countries publish the staff report and accompanying analysis, as well as the views of the IMF Executive Board in a public statement  

Check out this video on the IMF and Surveillance

Global oversight or multilateral surveillance

The IMF monitors regional and global economic trends and analyzes the impact that member country policies may have on neighboring countries and the global economy. It issues periodic reports on these trends and analysis. 

<img alt=
World Economic Outlook

The World Economic Outlook provides detailed analysis of the global economy and its growth prospects, addressing issues such as the macroeconomic effects of global financial turmoil and the potential for global spillovers, especially those that may result from economic, fiscal, and monetary policies of large economies such as the United States, China, and the euro area.

Learn more  
<img alt=
Global Financial Stability Report

The Global Financial Stability Report (GFSR) assesses global capital markets, financial imbalances, and vulnerabilities that pose potential risks to financial stability.

Learn more  
<img alt=
Fiscal Monitor

The Fiscal Monitor updates medium-term fiscal projections and assesses developments in public finances.

Learn more  
<img src=
External Sector Report

The External Sector Report analyzes the external positions of 29 of the world’s largest economies, plus the euro area. The analysis assesses current accounts, exchange rates, external balance sheet positions, capital flows, and international reserves.

Learn more  
<img alt=
Regional Economic Reports

The IMF also publishes regional economic reports that provide detailed analysis of major regions of the world.

Learn more  
<img alt=
Global Policy Agenda

The Global Policy Agenda, issued twice a year, pulls together the key findings and policy advice from multilateral reports and proposes a future policy agenda for the IMF and its members.

Learn more  

The IMF and the G20

The IMF cooperates closely with other groups, including the Group of Twenty advanced and emerging market economies, and supports the G20’s efforts to sustain international economic cooperation through its mutual assessment process. The IMF analyzes member country policies to determine how consistent they are with the goal of sustained and balanced global growth.

Learn more
Global growth IMF - G20


Adapting surveillance to evolving global challenges

The IMF periodically reviews its surveillance work to reflect changes in the global economy. Its most recent Comprehensive Surveillance Review, which concluded in 2021, provided a blueprint for global surveillance over the next five to ten years

The review identified four priorities to better support members:

  • Confronting risks and uncertainties
  • Preempting and mitigating spillovers
  • Fostering economic sustainability
  • Adopting a more unified approach to policy advice

At the member country level, the regular health check of members’ economies, known as Article IV Consultation, will continue to cover fiscal, monetary, exchange rate, and financial issues. As climate change, digital technology, inequality, and global events such as a pandemic shape a changing world, the IMF’s forward-looking surveillance approach aims to give policy advice to member countries that is even more timely and targeted.


IMF Blog
IMF Podcasts
F&D Magazine 



Subscribe to our newsletters

Sign UP

This page was last updated in July 2022