The Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe TD, and the Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Michael McGrath TD, today (Wednesday) welcomed the publication by the IMF of its annual review of the Irish economy, the Article IV Report.
The Article IV Report is a strategic medium-term review of the Irish economy and Government policies. The Report sets out the views of IMF staff on the current position of the economy and its future prospects, and provides recommendations.
The Report notes that the Irish economy was on a favourable path of high growth and declining vulnerabilities in the run-up to the pandemic and that the swift and comprehensive fiscal policy response has made good use of the policy space built before the pandemic
Commenting on the publication of the Report by the IMF, Minister Donohoe said:
“I welcome today’s publication by the IMF and their assessment that our swift policy response has been effective in mitigating the crisis impact and protecting households and firms from the pandemic. As the Report mentioned, I am keenly aware that the pandemic has had a highly asymmetric impact on the economy and on our society. The recent publication of Ireland’s Economic Recovery Plan sets out how we are addressing these issues and outlines how we will support the full resumption of economic activity and get people back to work.
This periodic review of the Irish economy is very informative to us as policymakers, especially at a time of great challenge, but also of opportunity for our country in the years ahead.”
Minister McGrath said:
“Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on our people and businesses and Government responded with a series of support measures to mitigate this impact. The assessment by the IMF that this response was effective in protecting households and firms is welcome. The key priority as the vaccine rollout proceeds is, as outlined by the IMF, that the withdrawal of support should be carefully tapered to support an inclusive recovery. This approach is very much reflected in the Economic Recovery Plan. As we continue to use fiscal policy to boost growth and support social cohesion, it will be important that, in line with the IMF’s assessment, our efforts to improve spending efficiency ensure that public spending delivers better outcomes for us all.”
Notes for the Editor:
During an Article IV consultation, IMF economists visit a country to discuss the country's economic and financial policies with government and central bank officials, as well as a range of public and private sector stakeholders. The team reports its findings to IMF management and then presents them for discussion to the Executive Board, which represents all of the IMF's member countries. A summary of the Board's views is subsequently transmitted to the country's government. In this way, the IMF aims to ensure that the views of the global community and the lessons of international experience are brought to bear on national policies. Summaries of most discussions are released in press releases and are posted on the IMF website, as are most of the Country Reports prepared by the staff.
The Article IV process is a requirement for all members of the Fund and takes place on a periodic, usually annual, basis. It is a long-standing element of Ireland’s regular engagement with the IMF and has a medium to long-term focus. This year’s review took place virtually from 26 April to Friday, 7 May 2021. There was no review in 2020 due to the pandemic. The next review will be held in 2022.
During the Article IV mission, an IMF team of economists assessed Ireland’s economic and financial developments and discussed the Country's economic and financial policies with both Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Central Bank Governor, officials from Government Departments/Agencies and the Central Bank, IFAC, the ERSI, Oireachtas members and representatives of the private sector.