Business and Economics > Money and Monetary Policy

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Mr. Simon T Gray, Mr. Philippe D Karam, and Rima Turk-Ariss
We investigate whether low loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratios and high levels of reserve balances at the central bank (or holdings of government securities) are a reflection of policy-driven factors compared to commonly cited reasons of reluctance to lend or sometimes weak investment demand in uncertain environments. We examine changes to central bank (CB) balance sheet structures as well as commercial banks’ flow of funds over the period 2007–2012. First, Middle East and North Africa (MENA) CBs play an active role in view of their size that is very large with respect to their economies compared to CBs in advanced economies. Second, under exchange rate targeting, most MENA CB balance sheets are asset-driven, holding foreign exchange (FX) reserves to support the exchange rate policy and resulting in lower loan-to-deposit (LTD) ratios in the case of unsterilized increases in FX. Third, CB policy decisions seem to be accompanied by an increase in commercial bank reserve money balances, with ensuing reduction in the LTD. Finally, if governments meet their financing needs from the banking system—whether from commercial banks or by monetary financing—commercial bank balance sheets will tend to expand, resulting in lower LTD ratios. Our analysis suggests that government and CB actions may also drive the demand for and supply of credit, which are traditionally attributed to the behavior of banks and non-financial corporates and households only. The findings offer a different interpretation of changes in CB and banks’ balance sheets, with direct implications for LTD, calling to exercise caution in recommending policy action which aim at propping up LTD to ‘appropriate’ levels in an effort to reinvigorate credit following a downturn.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This staff report on the Republic of Yemen’s 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights economic development and policies. The macroeconomic situation stabilized in 2012, but the recovery remains fragile. After contracting by more than 12 percent in 2011, real GDP is estimated to have grown by 2.4 percent in 2012, reflecting an easing of supply bottlenecks, and utilization of part of idle capacity. On the other hand, oil production declined further, due to continued sabotage of the pipelines. Average inflation declined to 9.9 percent from 19.5 percent in 2011, reflecting the appreciation of the rial to its pre-crisis level, the moderation of international food prices, and the easing of supply shortages.
International Monetary Fund
Yemen is confronted with a range of difficult economic challenges. The reduction in oil revenues in the past year has affected the Yemeni economy through a set of direct and indirect channels. The loss of oil revenue contributed to a record fiscal deficit of about 10 percent of GDP in 2009, financed in large part by the central bank. The balance of payments was also put under considerable strain. The identified measures are home-grown and designed to have a long-lasting impact on the structure of the budget.
Abdullah Almounsor
Yemen has had a high and volatile rate of inflation in recent years. This paper studies the underlying determinants of inflation dynamics in Yemen using three different approaches: (i) a single equation model, (ii) a Structural Vector Autoregression Model, and (iii) a Vector Error Correction Model. The outcomes suggest that inflation dynamics in Yemen are driven by international price shocks, exchange rate depreciation, domestic demand shocks, and monetary innovations. The impact of international prices and exchange rate depreciation indicate a significant pass-through of import prices. In the short run, external shocks of international prices and the exchange rate account for most variations in inflation, but domestic shocks to money supply and domestic demand explain larger variations in the medium term.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Mr. Selim A Elekdag, Nabil Ben Ltaifa, Todd Schneider, and Mr. Saade Chami
Monetary policy in Yemen is largely rudimentary and ad hoc in nature. The Central Bank of Yemen's (CBY) approach has been based on discretionary targeting of broad money without any clear target to anchor inflation expectations. This paper argues in favor of a new formal monetary policy framework for Yemen emphasizing a proactive and rule-based approach with a greater direct focus on price stability in the context of a flexible management of the exchange rate. Although, as in many developing countries, institutional capacity is a concern, adopting a more formal framework could impel the kind of changes that are required to strengthen the ability of the CBY in achieving low and stable rates of inflation over the medium term.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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