budget deficit


UK may be entering full-blown recession, says budget watchdog

LONDON, July 18 — Britain might be entering a full-blown recession and a no-deal Brexit could more than double the country’s budget deficit next year, the watchdog for public finances said today. The Office for Budget Responsibility said the…

US Treasury warns it will run out of cash in early September

WASHINGTON, July 12 — The US government could run out of money in early September unless Congress allows the administration to borrow more, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned today. The Treasury has been taking extraordinary steps since…

Bonfire of the Brexit cash: UK leader candidates’ spending promises

LONDON, July 4 — Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are competing to bolster their bids to become Britain’s next prime minister by proposing higher public spending and tax cuts which would represent a sudden relaxation of the country’s tight grip…

IMF approves US$6b loan for Pakistan to help better its economy

WASHINGTON, July 4 ― The International Monetary Fund yesterday approved a US$6 billion (RM24.8 billion), three-year loan for Pakistan to help right the South Asian nation's economy. With the IMF board's approval, the fund released US$1 billion to…

IMF approves $6bn loan for Pakistan

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday approved a $6 billion, three-year loan for Pakistan to help right the South Asian nation’s economy.

With the IMF board’s approval, the fund released $1 billion to Pakistan immediately and will unlock from other international partners around $38 billion over the program period.

The IMF said in a statement the program aims to “support the authorities’ economic reform program” and to help “reduce economic vulnerabilities and generate sustainable and balanced growth.”

The fund will review Pakistan’s performance on a quarterly basis over 39 months, phasing release of the additional aid over time.

The government agreed on the loan program last month and announced plans to slash civil expenditures and freeze military spending while promising to substantially raise revenues to stem a yawning fiscal deficit, and pledging to collect 5.5 trillion rupees ($36 billion) in taxes.

Discontent is simmering in the country following repeated devaluations of the rupee, soaring inflation, and increasing utility costs, while tax collection has been a long-standing challenge for authorities.

“Pakistan is facing significant economic challenges on the back of large fiscal and financial needs and weak and unbalanced growth,” acting IMF chief David Lipton said in a statement.

The program “aims to tackle long-standing policy and structural weaknesses, restore macroeconomic stability, catalyze significant international financial support and promote strong and sustainable growth.”

While Lipton said it will be key for authorities to reduce the large public debt and improved fiscal discipline, with a poverty rate of nearly 30 percent he said Pakistan must increase resources to help the poorest segments of society.

“Protecting the most vulnerable from the impact of adjustment policies will be an important priority,” he said.

The loan — an extended fund facility — includes cutting the primary budget deficit to a target of 0.6 percent of GDP, excluding debt service costs, from 1.8 percent.

The IMF report said Pakistan’s economy is at a “critical juncture,” due to a “legacy of misaligned economic policies, including large fiscal deficits, loose monetary policy, and defense of an overvalued exchange rate.”

Those policies fueled a short-term growth boost in recent years but eroded budget performance and ballooned the debt. – AFP

Lagarde ECB pick triggers euro-zone share rally as investors chase yield

LONDON, July 4 ― Euro zone stocks surged yesterday as investors piled into firms with big dividends on hopes European Central Bank chief nominee Christine Lagarde will maintain the ECB's dovish stance, while Italian shares jumped over 2 per cent…

Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on EU goods do little to curb gains in European shares

LONDON, July 3 ― European shares closed comfortably higher yesterday, with utilities and consumer stocks leading gains as investors brushed aside US President Donald Trump's threat to impose tariffs on an additional US$4 billion (RM16.56 billion)…

Italy PM says deficit back on track this year, EU wants more on 2020

STRASBOURG, July 2 (Reuters) – Italy’s 2019 budget deficit was smaller than forecast, meaning the country probably complied with European Union fiscal rules this year, but doubts remain over next year, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said today….

Ireland to run budget deficit of up to 1.5pc if no-deal Brexit

DUBLIN, June 25 — Ireland presented two budget strategies for 2020 today, a preferred option that would see its budget surplus grow if its neighbour Britain leaves the EU in an orderly way, and a no-deal Brexit scenario forecasting a deficit to…

Italy will play ball on deficit, PM assures Brussels

ROME, June 20 — Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has pledged to abide by EU fiscal rules, while insisting his country’s financial health is on the mend, despite its slowing economy. “We do not intend to ask for exceptions or concessions…