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International Monetary Fund. Independent Evaluation Office


The Independent Evaluation Office’s (IEO) Annual Report 2010 highlights that in FY2010, the IEO expended approximately 95 percent of its budgetary resources. The corresponding underspending (about 5 percent of the budget) resulted from several vacancies for significant periods throughout the year. Staffing developments over the course of FY2010 highlighted the costs of high staff turnover for the IEO’s work. In July 2009, the IEO undertook an assessment of recent staffing experience, the main challenges encountered in recruiting and retaining employees, and the aspects of the IEO’s employment policies that contribute to these difficulties.

Luciana Juvenal and Mr. Rodolphe Blavy
A self-exciting threshold autoregressive model is used to measure transaction costs that may explain relative price differentials and nonlinearities in the behavior of sectoral real exchange rates across Mexico, Canada and the U.S. Interpreting price threshold bands as transactions costs, we find evidence that Mexico still face higher transaction costs than their developed counterparts, even though trade liberalization lowers relative price differentials between countries. The distance between countries and nominal exchange rate volatility are found to be determinants of transaction costs that limit price convergence. Other factors-including weak domestic competition and transportation-are also likely to be important.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF work agenda; IMF exchange rate advice; Asia's trade pacts; Central Asia: economic cooperation; Cameroon after debt relief; spread of Austrian banks; conference on financial soundness indicators; Caruana on shifting roles in financial globalization.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Programa de trabajo del FMI; asesoramiento del FMI sobre tipos de cambio; pactos comerciales en Asia; cooperación económica en Asia central; Camerún tras el alivio de la deuda; expansión de los bancos de Austria; conferencia sobre indicadores de solidez financiera; Caruana aborda los cambios de funciones que trae aparejados la globalización financiera.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Programme de travail du FMI ; recommandations du FMI sur le taux de change ; accords commerciaux asiatiques ; Asie centrale ; coopération économique ; le Cameroun après l'allègement de la dette ; spread des banques autrichiennes ; conférence sur les indicateurs de solidité financière ; Caruana : évolution des responsabilités en matière de mondialisation financière.
Mr. Peter B. Clark, Shang-Jin Wei, Ms. Natalia T. Tamirisa, Mr. Azim M Sadikov, and Mr. Li Zeng


The effect of exchange rate volatility on trade flows was examined by a 1984 IMF study on G-7 countries. Over the past two decades, many developments in the world economy, such as the currency crises in the 1990s and increasing cross-border capital flows, may have exacerbated exchange rate volatility, while others, such as a deepening of the market in foreign exchange hedging instruments, may have reduced the impact of volatility on trade flows. Using recent advances in the economic theories on trade and in statistical methodologies, this paper revisits this important issue by taking into account these new developments and examining their effects on developing and transition economies, as well as on developed countries.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The IMF recently concluded its annual “health checkup” (Article IV consultation with the U.S. authorities) of the U.S. economy amid continuing questions about the strength of the economic recovery. While recent data have been reassuring, IMF staff cautioned that lingering effects from the collapse of the equity price bubble could still dampen activity, so that a durable economic upswing was not a foregone conclusion. In view of the large unfunded liabilities in the public pension and health systems and the recent deterioration in the federal fiscal position, the staff also raised concerns about fiscal sustainability and pointed to the risk that fiscal deficits could crowd out private investment and exacerbate the growing U.S. current account deficit. These issues are discussed in the IMF Staff Report and Selected Issues papers now available on the IMF’s website (
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy.
Mr. Robert A Feldman and Heliodoro Temprano-Arroyo
Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has a number of institutional implications for the transition countries of Central and Eastern Europe and selected Mediterranean countries that aspire to join the European Union (EU). After describing the current institutional framework for their relations with the EU, the paper examines two basic categories of institutional effects: those stemming from the need to satisfy the Maastricht convergence criteria before joining the euro area, and those stemming from the need to adopt the EU’s institutional and legal provisions in the area of EMU.