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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Still emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, countries in sub-Saharan Africa have been hit by a sluggish global economy, worldwide inflation, high borrowing costs, and a cost-of-living crisis. In many cases, inflation is still too high, borrowing costs are still elevated, exchange-rate pressures persist, and political instability is an ongoing concern. To ensure that the coming rebound is more than just a transitory glimpse of sunshine, it is important for authorities to guard against a premature relaxation of stabilization policies, while also focusing on reforms to both claw back lost ground from the four-year crisis and also to create new space to address the region’s pressing development needs.

Alain N. Kabundi, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, and Jiaxiong Yao
Climate change is likely to lead to more frequent and more severe supply and demand shocks that will present a challenge to monetary policy formulation. The main objective of the paper is to investigate how climate shocks affect consumer prices in a broad range of countries over a long period using local projection methods. It finds that the impact of climate shocks on inflation depends on the type and intensity of shocks, country income level, and monetary policy regime. Specifically, droughts tend to have the highest overall positive impact on inflation, reflecting rising food prices. Interestingly, floods tend to have a dampening impact on inflation, pointing to the predominance of demand shocks in this case. Over the long run, the dominant monetary policy paradigm of flexible inflation targeting faced with supply-induced climate shocks may become increasingly ineffective, especially in LIDCs. More research is needed to find viable alternative monetary policy frameworks.