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Budget Consolidation In A Difficult Environment - Ten Guidelines Plus A Preliminary Reality Check

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Executive Summary

There is evidence that a budget consolidation strategy can work with only a small and short lived negative impact on growth. However, this time consolidation is taking place in the aftermath of a deep crisis which had lead to increased levels of uncertainty. In addition the financial sector, as well as its regulation is under reconstruction. Firms and consumers are deleveraging, and many countries are trying to consolidate at the same time. The authors develop ten guidelines for consolidation during such a difficult economic period. They compare them to other guidelines published and, to the extent possible, cross check whether the upcoming consolidation programs being implemented or revealed in various countries comply with their guidelines.

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