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Mr. Robin Koepke and Simon Paetzold
This paper provides an analytical overview of the most widely used capital flow datasets. The paper is written as a guide for academics who embark on empirical research projects and for policymakers who need timely information on capital flow developments to inform their decisions. We address common misconceptions about capital flow data and discuss differences between high-frequency proxies for portfolio flows. In a nowcasting “horse race” we show that high-frequency proxies have significant predictive content for portfolio flows from the balance of payments (BoP). We also construct a new dataset for academic use, consisting of monthly portfolio flows broadly consistent with BoP data.
Chandranath Amarasekara, Rahul Anand, Kithsiri Ehelepola, Hemantha Ekanayake, Vishuddhi Jayawickrema, Sujeetha Jegajeevan, Csaba Kober, Tharindi Nugawela, Sergey Plotnikov, Adam Remo, Poongothai Venuganan, and Rasika Yatigammana
This study documents a semi-structural model developed for Sri Lanka. This model, extended with a fiscal sector block, is expected to serve as a core forecasting model in the process of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s move towards flexible inflation targeting. The model includes a forward-looking endogenous interest rate and foreign exchange rate policy rules allowing for flexible change in policy behavior. It is a gap model that allows for simultaneous identification of business cycle position and long-term equilibrium. The model was first calibrated and then its data-fit was improved using Bayesian estimation technique with relatively tight priors.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Context. The Sri Lankan economy has good underlying momentum but is starting to show signs of strain from a combination of unbalanced macroeconomic policies and an increasingly difficult external environment. A significant political transition has brought a new unity government to the fore. There is now an important window of opportunity to re-set macroeconomic policies to support stability and resilience, as well as undertake structural reforms to help Sri Lanka achieve high and sustained economic growth. Fiscal Policy. There is a clear need to put tax revenues on an upward path as part of a growth-friendly phase of fiscal consolidation and debt reduction. The significant reduction in the 2016 deficit to 5.4 percent of GDP will need to be followed by further revenue-based fiscal consolidation over the medium-term, guided by the 2020 deficit target of 3.5 percent of GDP (a primary surplus of 1 percent of GDP). Support on tax policy and revenue administration will be essential to successful implementation and creation of a simple, efficient, and equitable tax system.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

This paper focuses on Sri Lanka's Third Post-Program Monitoring Discussion. Sri Lanka's recent macroeconomic performance has generally been strong but risks appear to be on the rise. Real GDP growth registered 7.4 percent in 2014. Growth was broad-based, with the exception of agriculture, which suffered from drought early in the year and heavy rains and flooding in the fourth quarter. Price pressures have been contained, with headline and core inflation declining to 2.1 and 1.2 percent, respectively, by end-year. The outlook is broadly stable but set against heightened downside risks.

International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board regularly reviews progress and developments under the Data Standards Initiatives. The last review—Eighth Review—undertaken in February 2012 introduced the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) Plus. In light of the long experience under the Data Standards Initiatives established in the mid-1990s, this review takes a longer term retrospective on what has been achieved so far, and highlights some of the lessons learned. What is evident is the contrast between the progress of countries with more advanced dissemination practices (SDDS and SDDS Plus), and the slow pace of improvement under the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS).
International Monetary Fund
The December 2015 IMF Research Bulletin features a sampling of key research from the IMF. The Research Summaries in this issue look at “The Impact of Deflation and Lowflation on Fiscal Aggregates (Nicolas End, Sampawende J.-A. Tapsoba, Gilbert Terrier, and Renaud Duplay); and “Oil Exporters at the Crossroads: It Is High Time to Diversify” (Reda Cherif and Fuad Hasanov). Mahvash Saeed Qureshi provides an overview of the fifth Lindau Meeting in Economics in “Meeting the Nobel Giants.” In the Q&A column on “Seven Questions on Financial Frictions and the Sources of the Business Cycle, Marzie Taheri Sanjani looks at the driving forces of the business cycle and macroeconomic models. The top-viewed articles in 2014 from the IMF Economic Review are highlighted, along with recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and IMF publications.
Christian Saborowski, Sarah Sanya, Hans Weisfeld, and Juan Yepez
This paper examines the effectiveness of capital outflow restrictions in a sample of 37 emerging market economies during the period 1995-2010, using a panel vector autoregression approach with interaction terms. Specifically, it examines whether a tightening of outflow restrictions helps reduce net capital outflows. We find that such tightening is effective if it is supported by strong macroeconomic fundamentals or good institutions, or if existing restrictions are already fairly comprehensive. When none of these three conditions is fulfilled, a tightening of restrictions fails to reduce net outflows as it provokes a sizeable decline in gross inflows, mainly driven by foreign investors.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

The paper discusses the economic developments and policies in Sri Lanka in recent years. Substantial adjustments in energy prices and operational and financial reforms have helped to improve the performance of state owned enterprises (SOEs) and have reduced the burden on the budget and the banking system. Despite challenging global and domestic market conditions, overall soundness of the financial sector has improved with higher levels of capital, liquidity, and healthy earnings. The Sri Lankan economy is expected to return to a high growth trajectory, though conditional on recovery in external demand.

International Monetary Fund
The decision on IMF membership in the Financial Stability Board (as set forth above) was adopted by the IMF’s Executive Board.