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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Since independence, Bangladesh has achieved impressive economic growth and social development, making steady progress in reducing poverty and significant improvements in living standards. The COVID-19 pandemic interrupted this long period of robust economic performance, deepening some earlier vulnerabilities. Stagnating job growth, rising inequality, and slowing poverty reduction remain challenges. Revenues are low, and financial sector vulnerabilities continue to be high. Substantial productive investment in infrastructure, human capital, and climate resilience is needed to achieve the authorities’ aspiration to reach the upper-middle income status in 2031.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
The contents of this report constitute technical advice provided by the staff of the IMF to the authorities of Bangladesh in response to their request for technical assistance. The purpose of the mission was to assist the Bangladesh Bank (BB) in progressing on the compilation of a residential property price index. BB has plans to set up a new data collection system to improve the current existing data starting from July 2020. The new data collection will expand the geographic coverage and the type of dwellings and mostly will increase the current sample resulting in more accurate results. The mission recommended the use of R instead of other software since it allows to perform all the necessary calculations in one script and single software. The mission provided training particularly on the hedonic methods, chain linking and rebasing. The hedonic methods are the most recommended to address the quality changes on the mix of dwellings transacted when following the price of real estate.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses Bangladesh’s Requests for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). Bangladesh’s economy has been severely impacted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic with weaker domestic demand and a sharp decline in exports and remittances. The authorities have responded quickly to the COVID-19 outbreak with a comprehensive set of measures aimed at containing the spread of the pandemic, providing immediate relief to the most vulnerable households and affected businesses, and preserving the country’s macroeconomic prospects. A temporary increase in the fiscal deficit is necessary, and it will be important to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of all emergency spending. The Bangladesh Bank took appropriate steps to ease liquidity conditions and allow the financial sector to support the economy. Further easing could be considered if the economic situation deteriorates and inflation remains moderate. A gradual increase in exchange rate flexibility should be allowed to adjust to the external shock while preserving foreign reserves.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper summarizes achievements of the authorities to date and describes several options to support their ongoing efforts. The economic impact of climate change on Bangladesh is likely to become more pronounced. The outlook for Bangladesh is a source of concern, with experts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicting that a rise in sea levels and coastal erosion could lead to a loss of 17 percent of land surface and 30 percent of food production by 2050. Responding effectively to the impact of climate change depends on designing an appropriate set of fiscal policies. These can play a key role in mobilizing both public and private sources of finance for mitigation and adaptation activities. A second priority for Bangladesh is to raise domestic revenue from its current low base, including through introduction of a carbon tax. By helping establish a predictable price for carbon emissions, carbon taxes also provide clear incentives to promote investments in emissions-saving technologies. Although opponents argue that such taxes harm economic activity and slow job creation, the revenue they generate may over time be used to reduce other distorting taxes on labor and capital.