Padamja Khandelwal, Ezequiel Cabezon, Mr. Sanan Mirzayev, and Rayah Al-Farah
Limited economic diversification has made the economies of the Caucasus and Central Asia particularly vulnerable to external shocks. The economies in the region are heavily reliant on oil and mining exports as well as remittances. In some countries, tourism and capital flows also play a prominent role in aggregate economic activity.
Abdullah Al-Hassan, Imen Benmohamed, Aidyn Bibolov, Giovanni Ugazio, and Ms. Tian Zhang
The Gulf Cooperation Council region faced a significant economic toll from the COVID-19 pandemic and oil price shocks in 2020. Policymakers responded to the pandemic with decisive and broad measures to support households and businesses and mitigate the long-term impact on the economy. Financial vulnerabilities have been generally contained, reflecting ongoing policy support and the rebound in economic activity and oil prices, as well as banks entering the COVID-19 crisis with strong capital, liquidity, and profitability. The banking systems remained well-capitalized, but profitability and asset quality were adversely affected. Ongoing COVID-19 policy support could also obscure deterioration in asset quality. Policymakers need to continue to strike a balance between supporting recovery and mitigating risks to financial stability, including ensuring that banks’ buffers are adequate to withstand prolonged pandemic and withdrawal of COVID-related policy support measures. Addressing data gaps would help policymakers to further assess vulnerabilities and mitigate sectoral risks.
Nils Mæhle, Tibor Hlédik, Mikhail Pranovich, Carina Selander, and Mikhail Pranovich
This paper takes stock of forecasting and policy analysis system capacity development (FPAS CD), drawing extensively on the experience and lessons learned from developing FPAS capacity in the central banks. By sharing the insights gained during FPAS CD delivery and outlining the typical tools developed in the process, the paper aims to facilitate the understanding of FPAS CD within the IMF and to inform future CD on building macroeconomic frameworks. As such, the paper offers a qualitative assessment of the experience with FPAS CD delivery and the use of FPAS in the decision-making process in central banks.
Mr. Marco Arena, Mr. Rudolfs Bems, Mr. Nadeem Ilahi, Mr. Jaewoo Lee, William Lindquist, and Mr. Tonny Lybek
Several emerging market central banks in Europe deployed asset purchase programs (APPs) amid the 2020 pandemic. The common main goals were to address market dysfunction and impaired monetary transmission, distinct from the quantitative easing conducted by major advanced economy central banks. Likely reflecting the global nature of the crisis, these APPs defied the traditional emerging market concern of destabilizing the exchange rate or inflation expectations and instead alleviated markets successfully. We uncover some evidence that APPs in European emerging markets stabilized government bond markets and boosted equity prices, with no indication of exchange rate pressure. Examining global and domestic factors that could limit the usability of APPs, in the event of renewed market dysfunction we see a potential scope for scaling up APPs in most European emerging markets that used APPs during the pandemic, provided that they remain consistent with the primary objective of monetary policy and keep a safe distance from the risk of fiscal dominance. As central banks in the region move towards monetary policy tightening, the tapering, ending, and unwinding of APPs must also be carefully considered. Clear and transparent communication is critical at each step of the process, from the inception to the closure of APPs, particularly when a large shock hits and triggers a major policy shift.