How can governments have their cake and eat it too? How can fiscal policy provide sufficient support to economic activity, and reassure markets that fiscal solvency is not at risk? The poor state of fiscal accounts of most advanced countries calls for austere fiscal policies, before the confidence crisis that is now hitting a few small advanced economies spreads to the larger ones. But not right now: a frontloaded adjustment—that is a tightening that is not gradual but falls disproportionately early in the adjustment phase—could destabilize the recovery.
But can countries limit frontloading and still achieve credibility? Yes, but baking the right fiscal pie is likely to require a number of ingredients. While the exact recipe depends on country circumstances, here are our suggested ingredients. (more…)
Filed under: Advanced Economies, Economic Crisis, Fiscal policy, IMF, International Monetary Fund, Public debt | Tagged: budget execution, budget preparation, deficit ceilings, economic recovery, Fiscal Monitor, fiscal policy, Fiscal rules, fiscal solvency, fiscal transparency, frontloaded adjustment, government spending ceilings | 9 Comments »