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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper examines the degree to which inflation co-moves between India and a panel of countries in Asia. The paper shows that the considerable co-movement in headline inflation rates between India and Nepal is driven almost exclusively by food-inflation co-movement. By contrast, the role for inflation spillovers emanating from India in driving non-food inflation in Nepal appears limited. The implication is that Nepal should rely on domestic monetary policy rather than stable inflation in India to achieve stable domestic inflation. The main takeaway from the results is that food inflation co-movement between India and other countries is higher in cases where the co-movement in rainfall deviations from seasonal norms is highest. Since core inflation co-movement is weak, idiosyncratic domestic factors such as economic slack, exchange-rate movements, and differing degrees of passthrough from food- and energy-price shocks play an important role. This finding is critically important for monetary policy, especially since domestic policy is primarily effective only in controlling core inflation. Thus, domestic monetary policy needs to be calibrated to domestic inflationary pressures—Nepal cannot necessarily rely on stable inflation in India to achieve stable domestic inflation.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Weak growth and underlying structural vulnerabilities persist in both Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Worsened macroeconomic conditions—reflecting the spillovers from one of Curaçao’s largest trading partners and the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Sint Maarten—make the need for policy adjustment and structural reforms aimed at ensuring fiscal sustainability, enhancing competitiveness, strengthening investor confidence, and developing capacity more urgent.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Iceland is experiencing an economic slowdown that has reduced overheating concerns. Tourism growth has decelerated and the króna has stopped appreciating. Demand management has become easier, allowing the authorities to focus on medium-term priorities, including infrastructure, healthcare, education, and the environment. Risks, however, have become more evident. High fuel prices and other factors are challenging the airline business; world trade tensions are escalating; and the United Kingdom—a vital trading partner—is not yet assured of a smooth EU exit. Icelandic policies thus need to focus on further increasing resilience to shocks.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Grenada’s Sixth Review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement and Financing Assurances Review. The government met all continuous and end-December 2016 performance criteria and structural benchmarks. The economy grew by about 3.9 percent in 2016, reflecting continued strong construction activity and steady external demand for Grenada’s tourism services. The pace of restructuring of public debt has accelerated in recent months, and Grenada’s debt-to-GDP ratio declined to 83.4 percent at the end of 2016 from 108 percent in 2013. The IMF staff supports the completion of the Sixth Review under the ECF arrangement and the financing assurances review.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Palau’s economy has performed well in recent years. The economy grew strongly in FY2015 (ending September 30, 2015) at 9.4 percent, with tourist arrivals and construction activity expanding by 35 percent. However, the rapid rise in tourism activity strained infrastructure and was tilted toward low budget tourists, which led the authorities to limit the number of charter flights in FY2016. The outlook for Palau is also favorable. Economic growth is expected to slow temporarily to zero in FY2016 as tourist arrivals decline, but to rebound to 5 percent in FY2017 as tourism activity recovers with the entry of new hotels and construction picks up.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Morocco’s Ex Post Evaluation of Exceptional Access Under the 2012 Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL) Arrangement. The Ex Post Evaluation confirms that the 2012–14 PLL arrangement was consistent with the PLL qualification standards and requirements under the exceptional access policy at the time of the PLL arrangement request in August 2012 and at the subsequent reviews. The authorities’ policies helped maintain macroeconomic stability and reduce fiscal and external vulnerabilities, despite unfavorable external developments. It is observed that despite the significant macroeconomic achievements under the 2012–14 PLL arrangement, a number of policy challenges remained to be fully addressed.
International Monetary Fund
This note provides general guidance on the use of the Precautionary and Liquidity Line (PLL). After an overview of the instrument, explaining its specific nature, the operational issues are grouped into five areas: an outline of the process and specific steps that need to be followed if a member expresses interest in an arrangement; guidance on access, phasing, and purchases; guidance on determining qualification of a member and appropriate ex-post conditionality; and a guide to the semi-annual review process.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
KEY ISSUES Politics: President Bachelet won the Presidential election on a platform to foster inclusive growth and reduce inequality. Her government took office in March 2014 and is launching an ambitious policy agenda that includes important reforms in several areas, including taxation, education, productivity, and energy. Outlook and risks: Chile’s global environment is shifting, with a dimmer outlook for its main export, copper, and normalization of global monetary conditions. Growth has slowed markedly, resulting in a modest output gap. The peso has depreciated, feeding into inflation. Staff projects growth to bottom out in 2014 and then gradually recover. Key risks relate to a large and lasting drop in copper prices and global financial volatility. Policy mix: The freely floating peso is working as a shock absorber and will support the economic recovery. The policy mix with broadly neutral fiscal and accommodative monetary policy is appropriate. Room for further monetary easing has narrowed but space remains if domestic demand flounders, so long as inflation expectations remain well anchored. On fiscal, given the strong public finances, automatic stabilizers should be allowed to operate unimpeded and there is space for stimuli in the event of a major downturn. The commitment to close the structural fiscal deficit by 2018 is appropriate and should be phased in a way that avoids undue drag on the recovery. Should risks materialize, the freely floating currency is the first line of defense. Growth and equity reforms: Achieving strong growth while reducing inequality will require structural reforms. The authorities’ agenda focuses on the right areas but many details remain work in progress. Clarity on the details, timetables, and prioritization will reduce uncertainty and the risk of delays. Financial stability: Risks to financial stability appear contained, but it will be important to push through with regulatory reforms underway, including initiatives currently in Congress. Further effort will be needed to close regulatory gaps, in particular bank capital requirements, relative to international benchmarks.