Western Hemisphere > Chile

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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
The Chilean economy has rapidly recovered from the fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to an impressive vaccination campaign and effective policy support. The authorities will continue leveraging on Chile’s very strong fundamentals and policy frameworks to safeguard the recovery, preserve macroeconomic stability, and boost inclusive and green growth.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

An economic recovery is underway in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) but the pandemic still casts shadows on much of the region. The recovery was robust in the first quarter of 2021 but lost momentum in some countries in the second quarter, reflecting the rebound in COVID-19 cases. Real GDP is projected to grow by 6.3 percent in 2021, followed by a more moderate growth of 3 percent in 2022, but would not catch up with pre-pandemic trends in the medium term as persistent weakness in labor markets raises risks of scarring. Broadly favorable external conditions, high commodity prices, and pent-up demand support short-term growth, while monetary and fiscal policy reversals work in the other direction. Risks to the outlook are tilted downward. Main downside risks are the emergence of more transmissible and deadlier COVID-19 variants, tightening of global financial conditions, sovereign debt rollover risks, and social unrest as a year with heavy election schedule looms. Fiscal policy should allocate sufficient resources for health spending, including vaccination, and continue to support households and firms in a more targeted fashion while the pandemic persists, backed by credible assurances of medium-term debt sustainability to maintain access to finance. Monetary policy has started to address inflationary pressures but should continue to support economic activity insofar as the dynamics of inflation expectations permit. If rising inflation threatens to de-anchor inflation expectations, central banks should tighten monetary policy to signal a commitment to inflation targets and avoid persistent increases in inflation. Preemptive and decisive action should be accompanied with clear and transparent communication. Financial policy should shift from blanket support to targeted support of viable firms, to ensure that necessary labor and capital reallocations are not hindered. Supply-side policies should foster inclusive growth, including through progressive and growth-friendly tax reforms and measures to intensify climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Patrick Blagrave and Weicheng Lian
We study the inflation process in India, focusing on the periods before and after the adoption of flexible inflation-forecast targeting (FIT) in India. Our analysis uses several approaches including standard Phillips curve estimation for headline and core inflation, an examination of the sensitivity of medium-term inflation expectations to inflation surprises, and the properties of convergence between headline and core inflation. Results indicate an important role for domestic factors in driving the inflation process, and there is evidence that expectations have become more anchored since 2015. This result could be attributable to FIT adoption, or to persistently low food prices which dominate the post-FIT-adoption period. The policy implications of these structural changes in the inflation process are investigated using a semi-structural model calibrated to the Indian economy.
Elías Albagli, Mauricio Calani, Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov, Mario Marcel, and Mr. Luca A Ricci
Chile offers an example of a country that has overcome the fear of floating by reducing balance sheet mismatches, enhancing financial market development, as well as improving monetary, fiscal, and political institutions, and strengthening policy credibility. Under the floating regime, Chile’s economic adjustment to external shocks appears significantly improved, and its exchange rate pass-through has substantially declined. Our results reinforce the case that moving to a clear and credible floating regime can be associated with a reduction in the fear of floating via economic transformation (like smaller balance sheet mismatches, a larger hedging market, and a lower exchange rate pass-through).
Mr. David J Hofman, Mr. Marcos d Chamon, Mr. Pragyan Deb, Mr. Thomas Harjes, Umang Rawat, and Itaru Yamamoto
We investigate the motives inflation-targeting central banks in emerging markets may have for intervening in foreign exchange markets and evaluate the case for such interventions based on the existing literature. Our findings suggest that the rationale for interventions depends on initial conditions and country-specific circumstances. The case is strongest in the presence of large currency mismatches or underdeveloped markets. While interventions can have benefits in the short-term, sustained over time they could entrench unfavorable initial conditions, though more work is needed to establish this empirically. A first effort to measure the cost of interventions to the credibility of policy frameworks suggests that the negative impact may be smaller than often assumed—at least for the set of more sophisticated inflation-targeting emerging-market central banks considered here.