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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.

Luis Franjo, Nathalie Pouokam, and Francesco Turino
In this paper we build a model of occupational choice with informal production and progressive income taxation. We calibrate the model to the Brazilian economy to evaluate the impact of removing financial frictions on informality. We find that financial deepening leads to a drop in the size of the informal sector (from 37 percent to 22 percent of official GDP), to an increase in measured TFP (by 4 percent), to an increase in official GDP (by 27 percent), to a decrease in tax evasion (by 17 percent) and to an increase in fiscal revenues (by 15 percent). When assessing the response of this policy at different levels of financial development, we find a non-linear relationship between the credit-to-GDP ratio on the one hand, and either the size of the informal economy, or GDP per capita on the other hand. We test these features with cross-country data and find evidence in favor of both types of non-linearity. We also investigate changes in the income tax progressitivity as an alternative policy and find it to be more effective in countries with a medium to high level of financial markets development.
Julia Faltermeier, Mr. Ruy Lama, and Juan Pablo Medina
We study the optimal foreign exchange (FX) intervention policy in response to a positive terms of trade shock and associated Dutch disease episode in a small open economy model. We find that during a Dutch disease episode tradable production drops below the socially optimal level, resulting in lower welfare under learningby- doing (LBD) externalities. FX reserves accumulation improves welfare by preventing a large appreciation of the real exchange rate and by inducing an efficient reallocation between the tradable and non-tradable sectors. For an empirically plausible parametrization of LBD externalities, the model predicts that in response to a 10 percent increase in commodity prices FX reserves should increase by 1.5 percent of GDP. We also find that the welfare gains from optimally using FX reserves are twice as high as the gains from relying only on monetary policy. These results suggest that FX intervention is a beneficial policy to counteract the loss of competitiveness during a Dutch disease episode.
Ms. Marialuz Moreno Badia

Abstract

Drawing on an expanded data set covering emerging markets and low-income countries as well as advanced economies, this issue examines the extent and makeup of global debt and asks what role fiscal policy can play in facilitating the adjustment. The analytical framework explicitly models the interlinkages between private and public debt in analyzing the role of fiscal policy in the deleveraging process. Country case studies provide useful insights on what fiscal policy should and should not do to facilitate deleveraging while minimizing the drag on the economy.

International Monetary Fund
The central government publishes comprehensive financial statements, which include the social security funds and balance sheets with all financial assets and liabilities. Audited financial statements are published more than nine months after the end of the fiscal year. The 2004 Fiscal Responsibility Law (LRF), introduced a number of key reforms in public financial management which apply to the central and most of the first layer of sub-national governments. The reforms include establishment of a macro-fiscal framework, fiscal rules, a medium-term budget framework (MTBF), a system of quarterly budget execution reports, and the Federal Council on Fiscal Responsibility (FCFR) which is tasked to enforce the provisions of the LRF However, there are problems with the LRF and its implementation: (i) the out-years of the MTBF are indicative only; (ii) several LRF provisions have been suspended or relaxed since 2009; (iii) some provinces are not complying with their obligations under the law; and (iv) membership in the FCFR is not mandatory and adherence to the LRF is voluntary. The FCFR comprises of representatives of the central government, the city of Buenos Aires,1 and 21 of the 23 provincial governments. Nonetheless, the law has significantly increased the capacity to coordinate fiscal policies across levels of government and individual jurisdictions. Differences between macroeconomic and fiscal forecasts and outturns are not analyzed. Limited information is presented on fiscal risks. Budget execution control and reporting have been strengthened through a series of upgrades to the Integrated Financial Management Information System (SIDIF), which began operations in 1993.
Mr. R. G Gelos

Abstract

How has Latin America coped with external shocks and economic vulnerabilities in the aftermath of the global financial crisis? Managing Economic Volatility in Latin America looks at how the region has fared in recent years in an environment of uncertainty. It presents a collection of novel contributions on capital flows, terms of trade, and macroeconomic policy in Latin America. The rigorous expert analysis offers an up-to-date guide to many of the key economic policy questions in the region. Chapters focus on important analytical issues, including assessing reserves adequacy and current account levels. The roles of macroeconomic policies and exchange rates regimes in coping with large capital inflows are examined, as well as the effectiveness of both monetary policy and fiscal policy in dealing with economic challenges in the region.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

Persistently high debt ratios in advanced economies and emerging fragilities in the developing world cast clouds on the global fiscal landscape. In advanced economies, with narrowing budget deficits, the average public debt ratio is expected to stabilize in 2013–14—but it will be at a historic peak. At the same time, fiscal vulnerabilities are on the rise in emerging market economies and low-income countries—on the back, in emerging market economies, of heightened financial volatility and downward revisions to potential growth, and in low-income countries, of possible shortfalls in commodity prices and aid. Strengthening fiscal balances and buttressing confidence thus remain at the top of the policy agenda. Against that backdrop, this issue explores whether and how tax reform can help strengthen public finances. Taxation is always a sensitive topic and is now more than ever at the center of policy debates around the world. Can countries tax more, better, more fairly? Results reported in this issue show that the scope to raise more revenue is limited in many advanced economies and, where tax ratios are already high, the bulk of the necessary adjustment will have to fall on spending. In emerging market economies and low-income countries, where the potential for raising revenue is often substantial, improving compliance remains a central challenge.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

Global economic prospects have improved again, but the bumpy recovery and skewed macroeconomic policy mix in advanced economies are complicating policymaking in emerging market economies. Chapter 3 examines the prospects for inflation, particularly because inflation was remarkably stable in the wake of the Great Recession and, in fact, has become less responsive to cyclical conditions. Chapter 4 examines whether today’s fast-growing, dynamic low-income countries are likely to maintain their momentum and avoid the reversals that afflicted many such countries in the past.