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Mr. Anil Ari, David Bartolini, Vizhdan Boranova, Gabriel Di Bella, Mr. Kamil Dybczak, Ms. Keiko Honjo, Raju Huidrom, Andreas Jobst, Nemanja Jovanovic, Ezgi O. Ozturk, Ms. Laura Papi, Mr. Sergio Sola, Michelle Stone, and Petia Topalova
CESEE countries lag in terms of infrastructure compared to the EU15, and deficient infrastructure is often cited as a constraint to growth and convergence. Investing in infrastructure is therefore an important long-standing policy issue for the region. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, infrastructure investment has also gained some ground as economies look to support activity in the recovery phase once the virus has been contained. Against this backdrop, this project seeks to benchmark infrastructure in CESEE, assess the macro impact of higher infrastructure investment, and discuss policies issues to maximize such impact. First, we benchmark infrastructure in the region versus the EU15, across various infrastructure sectors and using different methodologies. Second, deploying empirical estimates and model-based simulations, we analyze the macroeconomic impact of boosting infrastructure investment. Third, we present an in-depth analysis of policy issues: enhancing public investment management, managing fiscal risks, and mobilizing private sector participation.
Ms. Emine Boz, Camila Casas, Georgios Georgiadis, Ms. Gita Gopinath, Helena Le Mezo, Arnaud Mehl, and Miss Tra Nguyen
This paper presents the most comprehensive and up-to-date panel data set of invoicing currencies in global trade. It provides data on the shares of exports and imports invoiced in US dollars, euros, and other currencies for more than 100 countries since 1990. The evidence from these data confirms findings from earlier research regarding the globally dominant role of the US dollar in invoicing – despite the comparatively smaller role of the US in global trade – and the overall stability of invoicing currency patterns. The evidence also points to several novel facts. First, both the US dollar and the euro have been increasingly used for invoicing even as the share of global trade accounted for by the US and the euro area has declined. Second, the euro is used as a vehicle currency in parts of Africa, and some European countries have seen significant shifts toward euro invoicing. Third, as suggested by the dominant currency paradigm, countries invoicing more in US dollars (euros) tend to experience greater US dollar (euro) exchange rate pass-through to their import prices; also, their trade volumes are more sensitive to fluctuations in these exchange rates.
Gustavo Adler, Sergii Meleshchuk, and Ms. Carolina Osorio Buitron
The paper explores how international integration through global value chains shapes the working of exchange rates to induce external adjustment both in the short and medium run. The analysis indicates that greater integration into international value chains reduces the exchange rate elasticity of gross trade volumes. This result holds both in the short and medium term, pointing to the rigidity of value chains. At the same time, greater value chain integration is associated with larger gross trade flows, relative to GDP, which tends to amplify the effect of exchange rate movements. Overall, combining these two results suggests that, for most countries, integration into global value chains does not materially alter the working of exchange rates and the benefits of exchange rate flexibility in facilitating external adjustment remain.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that in an increasingly uncertain global economic environment, Hungary’s growth registered one of the highest rates in Europe in 2018. The economy now appears to be running above capacity and wages are growing rapidly amid historically low unemployment. It is thus likely that growth will slow down over the medium term. Supply-side reforms can help sustain the momentum. Policies have reduced vulnerabilities substantially; however, measures to support the targeted fiscal consolidation could be more ambitious to ensure that room for fiscal policy manoeuvre is rebuilt. Wages outstripping labor productivity growth, slower export growth, and shortcomings in the business environment for small and medium enterprises call for invigorating structural reform efforts. Improvements in competitiveness are needed to sustain rapid income convergence and address demographic challenges. The government’s competitiveness program contains important elements. Focus should be on improving the business environment, enhancing the legal and regulatory framework, and increasing labor force participation.