International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses selected issues related to the economy of Thailand. The economy of Thailand is largely dependent on China. A 1 percent decline in China’s GDP lowers Thailand’s output by about 0.2 percent. Population aging is another major issue in Thailand. This Association of Southeast Asian Nations country will face the dual challenge of increasing the coverage of the social security system and ensuring its long-term sustainability. Thailand’s financial sector has expanded rapidly over the last decade, and important changes in its structure have taken place. While corporate debt has remained broadly stable, household debt has increased to one of the highest levels among emerging markets, raising concerns about household debt overhang.
The paper discusses potential output, the output gap, and inflation in Korea. The paper explores the information content of potential leading indicators of inflation. A broadly balanced current account has been the suggested norm for Korea over the medium term. The challenge is to help build a more robust bond market that prices risk appropriately. The features of pension schemes in Korea and the problems they face are outlined. The paper reviews pension reform, banking sector, corporate sector, and foreign exchange crises with respect to Korea.
This paper argues that there are significant risks, limitations, and complications associated with reliance upon mandatory DC, fully funded schemes as the dominant public pension pillar. Policies to limit risks may result in the government being reinjected into playing an important financial role in the provision of social insurance. For many countries, the principal source of old age support should thus derive from a well-formulated, public DB pillar, with a significant amount of prefunding. A DC/FF pillar can play a useful supplemental role in a multi-pillar system for the accumulation of pension savings.
Mr. Christian Thimann and Mrs. Anuradha Dayal-Gulati
This paper examines empirical determinants of private saving for a sample of economies in Southeast Asia and Latin America over the period 1975–95. It uses panel estimations to establish relationships between private saving rates and a range of policy and nonpolicy variables. The findings show that fiscal policy, particularly social security arrangements, influence private saving; also macroeconomic stability and financial deepening appear to have been important in accounting for differences in saving behavior between the two regions.
This Selected Economic Issues paper examines economic developments in South Africa during 1993–94. After a cumulative fall of 3.5 percent between 1989 and 1992, GDP at market prices grew by 1.1 percent in 1993. The major contribution to growth came from the turnaround in the inventory cycle, with positive investment in inventories recorded for the first time since 1989. Private consumption expenditure remained subdued in 1993, rising by only 0.5 percent; by contrast, public consumption grew by 1.8 percent in 1993.