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Hee Soo Kim, Carlos Chaverri, Emilio William Fernandez Corugedo, and Pedro Juarros
Central America is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to extreme climate events. The literature estimates the macroeconomic effects of climate events mainly using annual data, which might underestimate the true effects as these extreme events tend to be short-lived and generate government and family support in response. To overcome this limitation, this paper studies Central American countries’ macroeconomic impact of climatic disasters using high-frequency (monthly) data over the period 2000-2019. We identify extreme climate events by defining dummy variables related to storm and flood events reported in the EM-DAT (Emergency Events Database) and estimate country-specific VAR and panel VAR. The results suggest that a climatic disaster drops monthly economic activity in most countries in the region of around 0.5 to 1 percentage points on impact, with persistent effects on the level of GDP. We show that even as extreme climate events were relatively less severe under our sample period, quantitative effects are similar or larger than previously estimated for the region. In addition, remittances (transfers from family living abroad) increase for most countries in response to a extreme climate event, acting as a shock absorber. The results are robust to controlling for the severity of the climate events, for which we construct a monthly climate index measuring severity of weather indicators by following the spirit of the Actuaries Climate Index (ACI).
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The remarkable resilience of the economy during the pandemic, driven by policy support, favorable credit conditions and a favorable external environment, has almost returned the level of GDP to its pre-pandemic projected trend. Reflecting the prevalence of domestic factors, headline inflation eased to 3 percent (the lower limit of the inflation target band) at end-2021. For 2022, growth is expected to moderate while inflation is expected to rise in line with global inflationary pressures. Despite the resilience, social indicators such as poverty and malnutrition remain high. The outlook is very uncertain with significant downside risks, mostly external, including from the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and the tightening of global financial conditions in response to global inflationary pressures.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Guatemala has managed to keep infections and deaths moderate during the pandemic. The economic impact of COVID-19 has been mild given an early reopening of the economy, unprecedented policy support, and resilient remittances and exports. However, despite large-scale government interventions to support households, poverty and malnutrition have deteriorated following COVID-19 and the two major hurricanes battering Guatemala last November.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Guatemala has managed to keep infections and deaths moderate during the pandemic. The economic impact of COVID-19 has been mild given an early reopening of the economy, unprecedented policy support, and resilient remittances and exports. However, despite large-scale government interventions to support households, poverty and malnutrition have deteriorated following COVID-19 and the two major hurricanes battering Guatemala last November.
Mr. Michael Stanger
Monthly economic indicators support policy analysis of current economic developments and forecasting. This paper presents an overview of the data and statistical requirements to develop those indicators taking into account resource constraints that LIC typically face. We review statistical procedures for developing these indicators under the System of National Accounts and propose a general procedure to derive a monthly composite indicator of economic growth in low income economies.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Despite a political crisis, linked to the arrest of the former President and other officials on corruption charges, Guatemala's economy has coped well. Growth and the external position have been boosted by low oil prices and strong remittances, while the fiscal deficit had declined. However, progress on social objectives is lagging. There are downside risks from global uncertainties and domestic policy constraints.

International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This paper discusses the key findings of the report on statistics technical assistance (TA) and training evaluation mission on Guatemala. It is observed that overall users trust macroeconomic statistics in Guatemala. Data-producing agencies viewed TA and training provided by Statistics Department, IMF during 1998–2015 as most effective to improving the quality of statistics. There is broad recognition of the Bank of Guatemala’s key role in producing and disseminating statistics. There was consensus that TA and training were effective and helped enhance data quality of all datasets, but to a modest extent Government Finance Statistics and Producer Price Index. The effectiveness of TA largely depends on capacity built in the main data-producing agencies.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This Selected Issues paper estimates both Guatemala’s potential output and output gap using a wide range of econometric techniques. The analysis suggests that Guatemala’s potential output growth is about 3.5 percent for the whole sample period and that the output gap is almost closed. Results are highly robust among different methodologies. Among the methods used, several well-known time series filters and two different estimations of a state-space model are included. Additionally, a test for structural breaks in the series of potential GDP is presented. All methodologies conclude that the output gap at the end of 2012 is almost closed at -0.2 percent of potential GDP.