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Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer and Ivanna Vladkova Hollar
Fiscal performance in Latin America looks much improved this decade compared to the 1980s or 1990s. Is this a "structural" improvement or likely to be transitory? This paper answers this question by estimating the relationship between non-commodity revenue and the economic cycle, and evaluating commodity revenues using alternative medium term commodity price projections. The main result is that structural revenues have indeed improved as a share of GDP, and structural primary balances are currently in surplus in many Latin American countries. However, the magnitude of these improvements is uncertain, in part due to uncertainty about the commodity price outlook.
Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer and Ivanna Vladkova Hollar

be in these circumstances. This is the subject addressed in this paper. We proceed in three steps. First, we analyze the sources of recent increases in the revenue to GDP ratio, distinguishing between revenues from commodity and noncommodity sources, and decomposing increases in the latter into three components: changes due to tax policy or tax administration; changes due to the economic cycle; and a residual. Based on this analysis as well as medium-term commodity price projections from two different sources, we compute “structural” revenue to GDP ratios

International Monetary Fund

stronger than expected outcome in the first quarter, reflects the staff’s assumption that some pick-up in final domestic demand over the balance of the year will be largely met by drawing down the large inventory accumulation in the first quarter. In spite of the stronger-than-expected current account outcome in the first quarter, the staff’s projection for the year remains unchanged because higher oil and commodity price projections suggest a smaller terms of trade gain than previously expected. Reflecting a stronger-than-expected pick-up in food prices, staff has

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

economies, averaging 1percent . This would leave their growth rate at 5 percent, higher than in earlier business cycle troughs (for example, in 1990, 1998, and 2001). However, the cyclical downturn in emerging economies is of a similar magnitude to that in the advanced economies when measured relative to higher trend growth rates, in line with past cycles. Downward revisions vary considerably across regions. Among the most affected are commodity exporters, because commodity price projections have been marked down sharply, and countries with acute external financing and

Uwe Eiteljörge and Mr. Clinton R. Shiells
This paper attempts to assess the incremental external financing requirements occasioned by changes in world food prices, due to implementation of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture, for a sample of 57 developing countries. Based on estimates of changes in food prices due to the Round obtained in previous studies, and on detailed data on food trade by country and commodity, the present study shows that the increase in net food import costs are likely to be smaller than 4 percent of net food imports over a period of six years for the countries considered, although for some of the larger trading nations the effect may exceed US$10 million.