Business and Economics > Money and Monetary Policy

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Mr. Serhan Cevik and Tianle Zhu
Monetary independence is at the core of the macroeconomic policy trilemma stating that an independent monetary policy, a fixed exchange rate and free movement of capital cannot exist at the same time. This study examines the relationship between monetary autonomy and inflation dynamics in a panel of Caribbean countries over the period 1980–2017. The empirical results show that monetary independence is a significant factor in determining inflation, even after controlling for macroeconomic developments. In other words, greater monetary policy independence, measured as a country’s ability to conduct its own monetary policy for domestic purposes independent of external monetary influences, leads to lower consumer price inflation. This relationship—robust to alternative specifications and estimation methodologies—has clear policy implications, especially for countries that maintain pegged exchange rates relative to the U.S. dollar with a critical bearing on monetary autonomy.
Ms. Kimberly Beaton, Mr. Thomas Dowling, Dmitriy Kovtun, Franz Loyola, Ms. Alla Myrvoda, Mr. Joel Chiedu Okwuokei, Ms. Inci Ötker, and Mr. Jarkko Turunen
The high level of nonperforming loans (NPLs) in the Caribbean has been, in large part, a legacy of the global financial crisis, but their persistence owes much to the weak economic recovery in the region, as well as to structural obstacles to their resolution. A comprehensive strategy is needed to address these impediments to sever the adverse feedback loops between weak economic activity and weak asset quality. This paper finds that NPLs are a drag on Caribbean growth and macro-financial links are strong: a deterioration in asset quality hinders bank lending and dampens economic activity, undermining, in turn, efforts to resolve problem loans. A multifaceted approach is needed, involving a combination of macro- economic policies to support growth and employment; strong supervisory frameworks to ensure macro-financial stability and create incentives for resolution; efforts to address informational gaps and deficiencies in insolvency and debt-enforcement frameworks; and development of markets for distressed loans. The institutional capacity constraints require coordination of reforms within the region and support from international organizations through capacity-building.
Mr. Masahiro Nozaki, Mr. Tobias Roy, Mr. Pawel Dyczewski, Mr. Bernhard Fritz-Krockow, Ms. Fanny M Torres Gavela, Mr. Gamal Z El-Masry, and Mr. Rafael A Portillo
This paper analyzes the economic growth and stability in Suriname. The paper highlights that in recent years, the outlook has turned substantively more positive. The favorable external environment and the stability-oriented policies of the Venetian administration have boosted confidence in the economy, leading to increased investment, domestic economic activity, and employment. The recent boom in commodity prices has helped boost growth, while increased gold production and investment in the mineral industry are projected to support continued growth in the coming years.
Mr. Jan Kees Martijn, Gabriel Di Bella, Mr. Shamsuddin Tareq, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Mr. Abebe Aemro Selassie

Abstract

Macroeconomic outcomes in low-income countries (LICs) have improved markedly in recent years, but important questions remain regarding possible adjustments in the design of IMF-supported programs in such countries. This paper draws on a review of the literature as well as the experience of 15 LICs that have attained some degree of macroeconomic stability to discuss, for example, the appropriate target range for inflation in shock-prone LICs; whether countries should use fiscal space to cut excessive tax burdens, reduce high debt levels, or raise public spending; and how the effectiveness of public expenditures can be improved.

International Monetary Fund
This report provides an update on the work and direction of the Fund since the 2005 Spring Meetings. Since that time, the global economy has enjoyed strong growth--albeit with significant regional differences--and an absence of major financial crises, even though growing imbalances and rising oil prices have clouded the outlook. Although some steps the Fund has been advocating for some time have been taken--for example, increased flexibility in exchange rate regimes in Asia—decisive action to reduce global imbalances has remained elusive. At the same time, progress toward the Millennium Development Goals MDGs) remains slow and uneven,1 highlighting the need for concerted action by all countries. Further impetus is also urgently needed to move the Doha Round of trade negotiations toward an ambitious conclusion.
International Monetary Fund
Considers possible adjustments in the design of Fund-supported programs, drawing on the experience of low-income countries that have successfully addressed the most apparent domestic macroeconomic imbalances.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper describes the revenue instability and its consequences for Suriname. It explores some options for policy rules that could be considered in the case of Suriname. The paper analyzes inflation in Suriname from its historical and international perspectives, reviews the monetary policy instruments and the institutional framework, and describes the exchange rate regime and its main developments. The paper also analyzes the type of macroeconomic shocks and the domestic transmission mechanism for Suriname.
Mr. Rupert D Worrell
The experiences of Caribbean Economic Community countries show that exchange rate depreciation in these countries is inflationary, and that, while changes in the relative prices of tradables may affect exports, tourism, and imports, nominal exchange rate changes have no predictable effect on those relative prices. Under these circumstances, economic literature indicates that a fixed exchange rate regime is optimal, and Caribbean countries with (quasi-) currency boards have been successful in maintaining durable exchange rate pegs. Commitment to a currency board is a potentially vital step in achieving a currency union for the Caribbean.
Mr. Ebrima A Faal
The persistence in Guyana of a substantial underground economy is an important consequence of economic and social policy over 1964-2000. The paper attempts to estimate the magnitude of, and changes to the underground economy in Guyana, as well as its adverse effect on tax collection, during this period.
Mr. Philippe Egoume Bossogo
This paper analyzes broad money demand (M2) in Guyana from January 1990 to September 1999; a period marked by deep transformations aimed at shifting Guyana from a centralized to a market economy. The paper develops a stable error-correction model based on a long-run cointegrating vector of money demand. The latter establishes that real money demand is determined in the long run by real income, interest rates, and the exchange rate. The results also show the existence of strong exchange rate-induced inflation anticipations that are typical to Guyana.