The International Monetary Fund

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) came into existence in 1945 with a goal to stabilize exchange rates, foster global monetary cooperation, facilitate international trade and assist the reconstruction of the world’s international payment system. The 187 member countries contribute to a pool which could be borrowed from, on a temporary basis, by countries with payment imbalances.

Member states with balance of payments problem may request loans to help fill gaps between what countries earn and/or are able to borrow from other official lenders and what countries must spend to cover the cost of importing basic goods and services. In return, countries are usually required to launch structural adjustment programs (SAPs). These reforms are considered to be beneficial to countries with fixed exchange rate policies that may engage in fiscal, monetary, and political practices that may lead to crises.

The IMF publishes a range of time series data on IMF lending, exchange rates and other economic and financial indicators such as the World Economic Outlook and Global Financial Stability Reports.
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