International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Over the course of the pandemic, the Fund has made several modifications to the access limits on the use of Fund’s resources to increase the borrowing space under the hard caps on emergency financing and under the annual limits that trigger exceptional access (EA) safeguards under GRA and PRGT. The current temporarily-increased access limits expire at end-December 2021, and absent policy changes, the limits would return to the lower pre-pandemic levels or to the new PRGT annual access limit. Staff proposes to let all access limits return to pre-pandemic levels (or the new PRGT annual access limit), with the exception of the cumulative access limits for emergency financing instruments, which would be extended at the current level for another 18 months.
Some central banks have maintained overvalued official exchange rates, while unable to ensure that supply of foreign exchange meets legitimate demand for current account transactions at that price. A parallel exchange rate market develops, in such circumstances; and when the spread between the official and parallel rates is both substantial and sustained, price levels in the economy typically reflect the parallel market exchange rate. “Recognizing reality” by allowing economic agents to use a market clearing rate benefits economic activity without necessarily leading to more inflation. But a unified, market-clearing exchange rate will not stabilize without a supportive fiscal and monetary context. A number of country case studies are included; my thanks to Jie Ren for pulling together all the data for the country case studies, and the production of the charts.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Myanmar’s economic growth remains strong, but macroeconomic imbalances have increased significantly over the past year. Real GDP growth for FY2014/15 (April–March) is estimated to have reached 8.5 percent. The fiscal deficit increased to 3 percent of GDP in FY2014/15, while credit to the private sector continued to grow strongly at 35 percent (year over year) in March, albeit lower than in FY2013/14. The current account deficit widened to more than 6 percent of GDP, largely reflecting a rapidly rising trade deficit. The Myanmar economy is set for strong growth in 2015 amid signs of overheating. The economy is expected to grow by 8.5 percent, reflecting strong growth momentum and expansionary macroeconomic policies.