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of conducting business and shaping markets. Are we confident that our methods and indicators can cope with and capture these changes? ” Organizations like the IMF recognize the need to go beyond individual and scattered applications of big data, build public-private partnerships to deliver measurable, scalable, and high-quality results, and facilitate peer learning across their membership. “ Establishing sound partnerships, resolving legal issues, and acquiring the right skills and technologies are as important as statistical expertise, data representativeness

IMF Research Perspective (formerly published as IMF Research Bulletin) is a new, redesigned online newsletter covering updates on IMF research. In the inaugural issue of the newsletter, Hites Ahir interviews Valeria Cerra; and they discuss the economic environment 10 years after the global financial crisis. Research Summaries cover the rise of populism; economic reform; labor and technology; big data; and the relationship between happiness and productivity. Sweta C. Saxena was the guest editor for this inaugural issue.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

perception data representative of all accessible areas of Somalia. Using an innovative high-frequency computer assisted household survey, the project is providing vital household expenditure, socioeconomic and peace and state-building goal data. The instrument is tailored to collect data quickly, in highly insecure settings, and is designed to work in tandem with new econometric techniques to produce a reliable poverty profile and CPI base weights. A first wave of the survey was already implemented covering Somalis living in Mogadishu, urban and rural areas in Puntland and

International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

has the most extensive coverage of the membership . 25 For the MCP assessment, data representative of the wholesale market can be obtained in a standardized way from international benchmark administrators. For the 14 members for which data are not available through Thomson Reuters DataStream, data would be sourced from Bloomberg. Both companies provide accurate data in real time, and their methodologies are subject to independent assessment of their compliance with the international standard for the computation of international benchmarks of the International

Cristian Alonso, Mr. Andrew Berg, Siddharth Kothari, Mr. Chris Papageorgiou, and Sidra Rehman
This paper considers the implications for developing countries of a new wave of technological change that substitutes pervasively for labor. It makes simple and plausible assumptions: the AI revolution can be modeled as an increase in productivity of a distinct type of capital that substitutes closely with labor; and the only fundamental difference between the advanced and developing country is the level of TFP. This set-up is minimalist, but the resulting conclusions are powerful: improvements in the productivity of “robots” drive divergence, as advanced countries differentially benefit from their initially higher robot intensity, driven by their endogenously higher wages and stock of complementary traditional capital. In addition, capital—if internationally mobile—is pulled “uphill”, resulting in a transitional GDP decline in the developing country. In an extended model where robots substitute only for unskilled labor, the terms of trade, and hence GDP, may decline permanently for the country relatively well-endowed in unskilled labor.
Cornelia Hammer, Ms. Diane C Kostroch, and Mr. Gabriel Quiros-Romero

-scale results . Before engaging in costly and time-consuming investments, particularly in low-income countries, international and national organizations should begin with a proof of concept or pilot project, and the project should be operationalized only after the findings have proved valuable and feasible from an organizational point of view. Sound partnerships, legal issues, and the right skills and technologies are as important as statistical expertise, data representativeness and methodological accuracy, and effective collaboration between data scientists and subject

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

spreads discourage investment and economic growth. Figure 1. Tajikistan: Bank Lending, Deposit, and Interest Rates Sources: National authorities, Haver Analytics, and IMF staff estimates. 1/ Monthly data. Representative rates, weighted averages, foreign currency excluded. 2/ Quarterly data. Gaps in observations for Tajikistan. 2. The high interest rate spreads reflect the high credit risk premia and operating costs, weak competition, and macroeconomic uncertainties faced by banks . The high credit risk premia reflect a history of high NPL losses due to

Cornelia Hammer, Ms. Diane C Kostroch, and Mr. Gabriel Quiros-Romero
Big data are part of a paradigm shift that is significantly transforming statistical agencies, processes, and data analysis. While administrative and satellite data are already well established, the statistical community is now experimenting with structured and unstructured human-sourced, process-mediated, and machine-generated big data. The proposed SDN sets out a typology of big data for statistics and highlights that opportunities to exploit big data for official statistics will vary across countries and statistical domains. To illustrate the former, examples from a diverse set of countries are presented. To provide a balanced assessment on big data, the proposed SDN also discusses the key challenges that come with proprietary data from the private sector with regard to accessibility, representativeness, and sustainability. It concludes by discussing the implications for the statistical community going forward.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Reported economic activity has been strong in 2018-19 and inflation has picked up. The monetary framework is being strengthened. The external position has deteriorated. The fiscal deficit has widened as revenues have declined. Reforms to place the loss-making energy sector on a sound financial footing are underway. The authorities’ development strategy relies on large infrastructure projects— Roghun dam and other large SOE-implemented projects — that need sizable external financing. The financial sector is recovering from the 2015-16 crisis, with a decline in nonperforming loans and improved profitability. The authorities are making efforts to strengthen bank supervision and regulation. However, two formerly-systemic banks remain insolvent and further reforms are needed to restore public confidence in banks.