Western Hemisphere > Guatemala

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Jean François Clevy, Mr. Guilherme Pedras, and Mrs. Esther Perez Ruiz
The pandemic has urged countries around the globe to mobilize financing to support the recovery. This is even more relevant in Central America, where the policy response to cushion the pandemic’s economic and social impact has accentuated pre-existing debt vulnerabilities. This paper documents the potential for local currency bond markets to diversify and expand financing for the recovery, lowering bond yields, funding volatility, and exposure to global shocks. The paper further identifies priority actions, both national and regional, to support market development.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper focuses on Guatemala’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic is severely impacting Guatemala. Faltering external demand, declining remittances, and the necessary lockdown and social distancing to contain the virus, have disrupted economic activity and severely worsened external and fiscal positions. IMF support under the Rapid Financing Instrument will help address the urgent balance of payments and fiscal needs, improve confidence, and catalyze support from other external partners. In order to support the recovery and counter future shocks, the authorities intend to maintain an accommodative monetary policy stance and exchange rate flexibility. While credit risk regulations have temporarily been eased to facilitate loan restructuring, the authorities are closely monitoring banks’ exposures and the levels of provisioning to ensure the stability of the financial system. The Guatemalan authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to ensure that emergency financing is used effectively, transparently, and through reinforced governance mechanisms.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that structural reforms, strengthened policy frameworks and the ongoing smooth political transition have laid the foundations for sustained growth in El Salvador. The discussions focused on policies that build on these achievements and address fiscal vulnerabilities, boost long-term growth, and strengthen the governance, anticorruption and Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism frameworks. Continued US dollar appreciation led to a significant decline in inflation and widening of the current account deficit. The authorities agreed that debt would continue to drift upward in the absence of measures, and that weaker-than-expected global growth could have a negative impact on the domestic economy. The authorities emphasized their commitment to guarantee a smooth political transition by sharing information with the new administration and by inviting the Audit Office to oversee the handover process. It is recommended to improve the governance and anticorruption frameworks by increasing the fiscal transparency of the 2020 budget laws, strengthening audit and spending controls, and promptly implementing electronic invoicing.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the macroeconomic performance of Guatemala has been solid. The economy grew at 4.1 percent in 2015, slightly above potential, despite a slowdown in public consumption and investment during the crisis. Private consumption was lifted by lower oil prices and strong remittances. The latter also boosted the external position, creating a comfortable reserve cushion. With inflation well anchored, monetary policy was eased to support growth. The macroeconomic outlook remains benign. Growth is set to return to its trend rate of 3.8 percent in 2016 and gradually rise to 4 percent in the medium term, reflecting the positive impact of efforts to increase transparency and efficiency in public spending.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that key developments in Guatemala since the 2012 Article IV Consultation have been positive. As commodity prices stabilized and domestic demand pressures weakened, inflation fell sharply in 2012—closing at 3.4 percent by December. Although subsequently inflation rose somewhat—to 4.3 percent by May 2013, owing mainly to domestic prices—it still remained within the central bank’s target range of 4.0±1 percent. The economic outlook is generally benign. Growth is expected to edge up to 3½ percent in 2013 and 2014, reaching its potential rate, supported by ongoing buoyant domestic demand and healthy private-sector credit.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper estimates both Guatemala’s potential output and output gap using a wide range of econometric techniques. The analysis suggests that Guatemala’s potential output growth is about 3.5 percent for the whole sample period and that the output gap is almost closed. Results are highly robust among different methodologies. Among the methods used, several well-known time series filters and two different estimations of a state-space model are included. Additionally, a test for structural breaks in the series of potential GDP is presented. All methodologies conclude that the output gap at the end of 2012 is almost closed at -0.2 percent of potential GDP.
International Monetary Fund
This Article IV Consultation reports that macroeconomic developments in Guatemala have been broadly positive since 2010. Although the external current account deficit widened in 2011, the surplus in the capital account was larger, partly owing to banks’ increased access to foreign credit lines. Executive Directors have welcomed Guatemala’s economic recovery and the favorable outlook, considering that the policy stance for 2012 is broadly appropriate. Directors have also encouraged the authorities to improve public expenditure management.
International Monetary Fund
Owing to the deteriorating economy of Guatemala, authorities requested a Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with access of SDR 630.6 million in April 2009, which aimed at safeguarding macroeconomic and financial stability and anchoring investor confidence. Executive Directors have agreed that the SBA is successful in mitigating the financial crisis. Directors have appreciated the authorities’ commitment in implementing policies focused on short-term macroeconomic and financial stability on time, and also have urged to look into some important vulnerabilities that would have strengthened the fiscal framework.
Mr. Geoffrey J Bannister and Mr. Luis D Barrot
This paper presents an alternative method for calculating debt targets using the debt intolerance literature of Reinhart, Rogoff, and Savastano (2003) and Reinhart and Rogoff (2009). The methodology presented improves on the previous papers by using a dynamic panel approach, correcting for endogeneity in the regressors and basing the calculation of debt targets on credit ratings, a more objective criteria. In addition the study uses a new data base on general government debt covering 120 countries over 21 years. The paper suggests a ranking of Central America, Panama, and Dominican Republic (CAPDR) countries in terms of debt intolerance - an index which could be used to further investigate the main components of debt intolerance.
International Monetary Fund
The natural disasters that hit the country recently caused human losses and had a negative impact on the economy; however, they did not deviate the economic recovery path. Currently, growth in exports and imports is accelerating, remittances are recovering, and international reserves are well above end-2009 levels. The authorities have recently adopted regulations on liquidity and foreign currency credit risk management and have made further progress toward full provisioning of nonperforming loans. Finally, the IMF-supported program has also contributed to the achievement of their economic program goals.