Asia and Pacific > Sri Lanka

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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
COVID-19 severely hit the economy, causing a loss of tourism receipts and necessitating several strict lockdowns. Pre-pandemic tax cuts and the impact of COVID-19 led to fiscal deficits larger than 10 percent of GDP in 2020 and 2021 and a rapid increase in public debt to 119 percent of GDP in 2021. Sri Lanka’s access to international capital markets was lost in 2020, prompting a decline of international reserves to critically low levels and large-scale direct lending to the government by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL). External debt repayments and a widening current account deficit have led to foreign exchange (FX) shortages, while the official exchange rate has been de facto fixed since April 2021. Inflation is on the rise, reaching double digits in December 2021, reflecting imported inflation, supply shocks, and a pickup in domestic demand amid loose monetary policy.
Mr. Luis Brandao Marques, Mr. R. G Gelos, Mr. Thomas Harjes, Ms. Ratna Sahay, and Yi Xue
Central banks in emerging and developing economies (EMDEs) have been modernizing their monetary policy frameworks, often moving toward inflation targeting (IT). However, questions regarding the strength of monetary policy transmission from interest rates to inflation and output have often stalled progress. We conduct a novel empirical analysis using Jordà’s (2005) approach for 40 EMDEs to shed a light on monetary transmission in these countries. We find that interest rate hikes reduce output growth and inflation, once we explicitly account for the behavior of the exchange rate. Having a modern monetary policy framework—adopting IT and independent and transparent central banks—matters more for monetary transmission than financial development.
Chandranath Amarasekara, Rahul Anand, Kithsiri Ehelepola, Hemantha Ekanayake, Vishuddhi Jayawickrema, Sujeetha Jegajeevan, Csaba Kober, Tharindi Nugawela, Sergey Plotnikov, Adam Remo, Poongothai Venuganan, and Rasika Yatigammana
This study documents a semi-structural model developed for Sri Lanka. This model, extended with a fiscal sector block, is expected to serve as a core forecasting model in the process of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s move towards flexible inflation targeting. The model includes a forward-looking endogenous interest rate and foreign exchange rate policy rules allowing for flexible change in policy behavior. It is a gap model that allows for simultaneous identification of business cycle position and long-term equilibrium. The model was first calibrated and then its data-fit was improved using Bayesian estimation technique with relatively tight priors.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department

Abstract

The Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions has been published by the IMF since 1950. It draws on information available to the IMF from a number of sources, including that provided in the course of official staff visits to member countries, and has been prepared in close consultation with national authorities.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses Sri Lanka’s Third Review Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility and Request for Modification of Performance Criterion (PC). Performance under the program has remained broadly on track since the second review despite a series of weather-related supply shocks. All end-June and continuous PCs are met. Revenue mobilization has helped meet the quantitative fiscal targets, while strong capital inflows have supported the buildup of international reserves. The budget targets a primary surplus of 1 percent of GDP and frontloads fiscal consolidation toward the authorities’ objective of reducing the overall fiscal deficit to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2020.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses Sri Lanka’s Second Review under the Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility, Request for Waivers of Applicability and Nonobservance of Performance Criterion (PC), and Request for Modification of PCs. The authorities remain committed to the economic reform program and undertook meaningful corrective actions where targets were missed. As a prior action, the new Inland Revenue Act will be submitted to Parliament. The authorities have also strengthened tax administration and are conducting a diagnostic review of the value-added tax. The reform momentum should strengthen further, building on the progress made so far.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia investigates the macroeconomic impact of remittances on long-run external sustainability and growth. The paper presents stylized facts pertaining to the characteristics of remittances in