International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses three important sectors of Belize economy: financial, sugar market, and energy. Belize’s banking system has continued to strengthen since the 2014 Article IV Consultation in June 2014. Despite recent improvements, some banks’ balance sheets are still weak and exposed to adverse macroeconomic developments. The sugar sector makes a very important contribution to Belize’s economy. The sector is estimated to account for about 4-5 percent of GDP, 9-10 percent of total exports, 8 percent of employment, and 5-6 percent of foreign exchange earnings. But the reform of EU sugar regime, scheduled to take full effect in 2017, will most likely cause a significant drop in the EU sugar price.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper explores key issues affecting the Indian economy and implications for fiscal, monetary, financial sector, and other structural policies. This paper evaluates the build-up of corporate and banking sector vulnerabilities in India, linked to the past macroeconomic slowdown and supply-side bottlenecks, particularly in the infrastructure sector; the nature, scope, and the effectiveness of macroprudential policies in India; the potential costs and benefits of gold monetization schemes in India; two recent episodes of financial market volatility—the taper tantrum of the summer of 2013 and the China spillover episode of the summer of 2015; effectiveness of India’s capital controls using an arbitrage based approach; the relationship between Indian; and international market prices of cereals.
We present a simple macroeconomic model with a continuum of primary commodities used in the production of the final good, such that the real prices of commodities have a factor structure. One factor captures the combined contribution of all aggregate shocks which have no direct effects on commodity markets other than through general equilibrium effects on output, while other factors represent direct commodity shocks. Thus, the factor structure provides a decomposition of underlying structural shocks. The theory also provides guidance on how empirical factors can be rotated to identify the structural factors. We apply factor analysis and the identification conditions implied by the model to a cross-section of real non-energy commodity prices. The theoretical restrictions implied by the model are consistent with the data and thus yield a structural interpretation of the common factors in commodity prices. The analysis suggests that commodity-related shocks have generally played a limited role in global business cycle fluctuations.
A major element of the persistent fiscal imbalances in Guinea-Bissau is the relatively low level of revenue compared with other sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Fiscal revenues, including grants, trended downward significantly in Guinea-Bissau from 1991 through 2005, especially during the last five years. Nontax revenues are stagnant as a proportion of GDP as a result of weak fisheries administration and control. Tax revenues as a proportion of GDP are relatively low in Guinea-Bissau even compared with other low-income countries.
This paper examines the question: Who bears the larger portion of the excess burden of a tariff-the country that imposes it, or a country that it trades with? For a country that can influence its terms of trade, there are two ways of approaching this question. This paper shows that under certain assumptions, the extra burden from a marginal change in the homecountry tariff is shared equally between the home and foreign country at a tariff rate equal to twice the optimal tariff for the home country. Also, the cumulative welfare effect of a tariff in the home country, relative to free trade, turns out to be equalized across countries when the home tariff equals four times its optimal tariff. The paper provides an application of these results and points policymakers to the types of data that are relevant if they want to negotiate over "burden sharing."
The report provides an overview of the recent economic developments in Paraguay. The study analyzes the potential output, growth, prices, wages, and the labor market; and assesses the public finances, social security, and public enterprises. The paper reviews the monetary sector, evaluates the soundness of the banking sector and its developments, the external sector by assessing the balance-of-payments developments and the exchange and trade system. The study also provides a statistical appendix report of the country.
This paper analyzes portfolio diversification, leverage, and financial contagion. It studies the extent to which basic principles of portfolio diversification explain “contagious selling” of financial assets when there are purely local shocks. The paper demonstrates that the elementary portfolio theory offers key insights into “contagion.” Most important, portfolio diversification and leverage are sufficient to explain why an investor will find it optimal to significantly reduce all risky asset positions when an adverse shock impacts just one asset.
This paper describes economic developments in Paraguay during the 1990s. After recording a growth rate of 1.3 percent in 1996, real GDP expanded by 2.6 percent in 1997, or about the same rate as population growth. This reflected mainly a recovery in agricultural output owing to abundant rains. GDP growth suffered a new setback in 1998, with preliminary estimates showing a growth rate of only 0.6 percent, owing mainly to the continued stagnation in the manufacturing sector and a reduction of trade-related activities owing to tighter border controls in Brazil.
This Selected Issues paper reviews public service reform in Ghana. The paper highlights that a range of public service reform initiatives have been undertaken in Ghana since the early 1980s. The public service in Ghana is composed of centrally managed agencies, ministries, subvented agencies, district assemblies, and state enterprises. The civil service, which covers the centrally managed agencies, ministries, and local government, accounts for only about 20 percent of total public sector employment as a result of the spin-off in the 1980s of the internal revenue, customs, education, and health services as subvented agencies.
The export performance of Sub-Saharan Africa has lagged behind that of developing countries in other regions for the past two decades, and total export proceeds have fallen significantly since 1980. Many factors explain this outcome, including continued concentration in slowly-growing non-fuel primary commodities and domestic economic policies that have discouraged new investment that could promote diversification and increased production of traditional crops. Diversification into new agricultural products and light manufactures could boost export earnings, but only if the region can compete successfully with existing producers elsewhere. In most countries this will require major structural reforms to create a more attractive economic environment.