Africa > Comoros, Union of the

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Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, Mr. Montfort Mlachila, Mr. Saad N Quayyum, and Vigninou Gammadigbe
This paper provides an early assessment of the dynamics and drivers of remittances during the COVID-19 pandemic, using a newly compiled monthly remittance dataset for a sample of 52 countries, of which 16 countries with bilateral remittance data. The paper documents a strong resilience in remittance flows, notwithstanding an unprecedent global recession triggered by the pandemic. Using the local projection approach to estimate the impulse response functions of remittance flows during Jan 2020-Dec 2020, the paper provides evidence that: (i) remittances responded positively to COVID-19 infection rates in migrant home countries, underscoring its role as an important automatic stabilizer; (ii) stricter containment measures have the unintended consequence of dampening remittances; and (iii) a shift from informal to formal remittance channels due to travel restrictions appears to have also played a role in the surge in formal remittances. Lastly, the size of the fiscal stimulus in host countries is positively associated with remittances as the fiscal response cushions the economic impact of the pandemic.
International Monetary Fund
The Selected Issues paper for the Union of the Comoros describes an assessment of the external competitiveness. Comoros has been hard hit by negative terms-of-trade shocks that have weakened the external position. A trend decline in the world price of vanilla, its main export, has occurred parallel to unprecedented increases in international food and petroleum prices. Although export growth has slackened, imports have steadily grown driven by a surge in remittances and a steady real appreciation of the euro-pegged national currency.
International Monetary Fund
The dominant role of remittances in Comoros’s economy presents policymakers with important challenges and opportunities. Fiscal decentralization is a pillar of national reconciliation in Comoros. To make decentralization work better, more revenue and expenditure responsibilities could be devolved to the islands. The paper also presents statistical data on gross domestic product, indicators of tourism, consolidated government financial operations, breakdown of staffing levels, summary statement of banks, balance of payments, payment arrears and service payments, summary of the tax system, and other economic indices.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department


The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.