Comprehensive Surveillance Review


The IMF is adapting and strengthening its economic analysis of countries, known as surveillance. To keep up with the changes in the world, the IMF is modernizing surveillance to help policymakers better prepare for a transforming economic landscape.


IMF—New thinking for a changing world
May 24, 2021

The IMF is responding to the policy challenges of a fast-changing global economy still reeling from the COVID-19 crisis: it is modernizing the way it provides its regular policy advice to member countries—a process known as surveillance.

Comprehensive Surveillance Review
May 19, 2021

Comprehensive Surveillance Review


Guidance Note for Surveillance Under Article IV Consultations
June 23, 2022

This Guidance Note provides guidance to country teams for surveillance under Article IV consultations. It supersedes the 2015 Guidance Note and its supplement. Fund surveillance continuously adapts to the evolving economic and financial landscape. The 2021 Comprehensive Surveillance Review (CSR) identified priorities for Fund surveillance, both in terms of content and modalities. This Guidance Note covers: Scope and requirements: The note lays out the coverage of, and formal requirements for, Article IV consultations and staff reports. It also outlines best practices aimed at enhancing the traction of Fund analysis and policy advice. Priorities and focus. The note reflects the four surveillance priorities identified in the CSR: (i) confronting risks and uncertainties, (ii) preempting and mitigating spillovers, (iii) ensuring economic sustainability, and (iv) adopting a more unified approach to policy advice. The note also provides guidance on sharpening the focus and selectivity of Article IV staff reports. Policies. The note discusses the content of surveillance in the areas of fiscal policy, macrofinancial analysis and financial policies, monetary policy, external sector policies, and macrostructural policies. Applications. The note considers several applications of such policies, such as with respect to the Integrated Policy Framework, climate change, and gender. Process and procedures. The note describes the Article IV consultation cycle and process, lays out drafting and publication guidelines for staff reports, and covers the treatment of confidential information.

2021 Comprehensive Surveillance Review— Background Paper on Systemic Risk and Macroprudential Policy Advice in Article IV Consultations
May 18, 2021

This paper assesses progress made in deepening and integrating systemic risk analysis and macroprudential policy advice in Article IV consultations following up on the findings of the IEO evaluation. The assessment informs the Comprehensive Surveillance Review and the FSAP Review in their recommendations to strengthen these areas in Article IV consultations. The findings point to notable improvements made since the launch of the macrofinancial mainstreaming initiative, particularly in staff reports for advanced economies and in covering bank and credit-related risks.

2021 Comprehensive Surveillance Review— Background Paper on Main Findings from The Stakeholder Surveys
May 18, 2021

This note presents key results from the surveys of country authorities, IMF Executive Directors (EDs), and mission chiefs (MCs) to inform the Comprehensive Surveillance Review (CSR). Key takeaways and cross-cutting themes that emerge are Trends, Policy Challenges, Surveillance Priorities, Surveillance modalities and Traction.

2021 Comprehensive Surveillance Review — Overview Paper
May 18, 2021

Fund surveillance needs to evolve to face the economic and financial challenges that will shape the global landscape for years to come. This paper first takes stock of the current economic and financial landscape. To better serve the membership in this context, Fund surveillance should be prioritized around four key priorities: (i) confronting risks and uncertainties: policymakers will need to actively manage the risks of a highly uncertain outlook; (ii) preempting and mitigating adverse spillovers: shifting patterns of global economic integration will bring about new channels for contagion and policy spillovers; (iii) fostering economic sustainability: a broader understanding of sustainability to better account for the impact of economic and non-economic developments on stability; and (iv) unified policy advice: better accounting for the trade-offs and synergies among different policy combinations in the face of limited policy space and overlapping priorities, tailored to country-specific circumstances. These priorities should further enhance the traction of Fund surveillance.

Supplement to the Guidance Note for Surveillance Under Article IV Consultations
February 8, 2021

This note provides updated guidance to country teams on bilateral surveillance in the context of Article IV consultations in light of the COVID crisis. This guidance impacts the focus, format and presentation of staff reports while keeping intact the substance of all existing Board-endorsed requirements. Similarly, all aspects of the comprehensive 2015 Guidance Note for Surveillance Under Article IV Consultations also remain in effect, except as modified below. This supplement aims to strengthen the focus of Fund surveillance on the fallout from the crisis and related challenges flexibly to adapt to a rapidly evolving context and will remain in effect, in the absence of further communication, until comprehensive new guidance is issued following the completion of the upcoming Comprehensive Surveillance Review.

2018 Interim Surveillance Review
April 17, 2018

Fund surveillance has become better adapted to the global conjuncture, and more integrated and risk-based. The recommendations of the 2014 Triennial Surveillance Review (TSR) focused on helping members navigate the post crisis challenges. Bilateral and multilateral surveillance discussions are underpinned by a shared and deeper understanding of global interconnectedness and linkages across sectors. There has also been progress in core areas such as risk work, fiscal and external sector analysis, and in integration of macrofinancial analysis and of macrostructural policy work that aims to reinvigorate productivity and growth, and promote inclusiveness. The ongoing efforts to align surveillance inputs with risks is also enhancing the Fund’s ability to support members more effectively.

Continuing efforts along several dimensions will be needed to further advance surveillance ahead of the 2019 Comprehensive Surveillance Review (CSR). These include planned refinements to external sector assessments, sustaining progress on macrofinancial surveillance, addressing data gaps, and incorporating lessons from pilot efforts including on macrofinancial, macrostructural and emerging issues. Efforts to meet surveillance challenges in low income countries also will continue. Outward spillover work, particularly from the largest economies, should receive greater prominence in Article IV reports. Further work is also needed to make policy advice more persuasive by better leveraging cross-country policy experiences and integrating technical assistance.

Lessons from implementing the TSR recommendations should help ensure further progress. A major investment has been made to deepen the analysis that supports surveillance. With a dramatic increase in the range of analytical approaches and tools available, selectivity and tailoring are ever more crucial. The Fund’s internal processes have proven flexible enough to deliver on key areas, but will require continual adaptation to keep pace with evolving challenges. Strategies for human resources, capacity development, knowledge management, and data and statistics should further reinforce surveillance priorities.

Looking ahead, the 2019 CSR will further anchor the Fund’s surveillance in a world of rapid technological change. The increased pace of technological progress could have far-reaching implications for the global economy, finance, and policy making, possibly fundamentally altering the surveillance landscape. Coupled with rising inequality and possible adoption of inward-looking policies, the impact on the membership could be profound. Engagement with members, stakeholders, and experts will be central in determining how the 2019 CSR will address these challenges.