Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Ms. Farayi Gwenhamo, and Mr. Saji Thomas
Spillovers from South Africa into the other members of the Souther Africa Customs Union (known as the BLNS for Botstwana, Lesotho, Namibia, and Swaziland) are substantial reflecting sizeable real and financial interlinkages. However, shocks to real GDP growth in South Africa do not seem to systematically affect growth developments in BLNS countries as a group. Nevertheless, vector autoregressions, which allow country-specific parameters, suggest some strong spillovers onto the smaller economies.
This paper examines the challenges and policy options after hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. The paper reviews the pros and cons of alternative monetary regimes for Zimbabwe to succeed the current multicurrency system, which the authorities consider a temporary arrangement. The analysis suggests that some form of official dollarization has significant advantages. The paper also assesses competitiveness and external sustainability in debt-distressed Zimbabwe. It also makes a case for creating fiscal space for growth and development in post-hyperinflation Zimbabwe.
This 2006 Article IV Consultation highlights that with generally prudent macroeconomic policies, Namibia has enjoyed robust growth, moderate inflation, and strong external surpluses. Growth is expected to increase to 4½ percent in 2006, after 4¼ percent in 2005, owing in part to a recovery in diamond production. Rising oil prices and interest rates have not yet noticeably affected activity. Public debt is poised to rise again over the medium term in light of an expected decline in custom union (SACU) receipts and an increase in spending to address Namibia’s development needs.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes recent developments in the financial system of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). It describes the monetary developments in 2003–05 and reform of the financial system. The paper examines the impact of monetary and exchange rate policies on inflation, including the nature of the lags involved. It reviews developments in the DRC’s mining sector and mining’s contribution to the economy from a fiscal perspective, showing a low effective level of taxation. The paper also discusses restructuring of the mining sector.
This Selected Issues paper describes recent economic developments in Swaziland and discusses some of the key issues that have a bearing on the economic outlook and policy debate. The paper examines developments with regard to output and inflation, fiscal policy, monetary policy and financial markets, and the external sector. It elaborates the economic impact of HIV/AIDS. The sources of GDP growth and the outlook are analyzed. The paper also examines the issue of external competitiveness, and describes the finances of the Public Service Pensions Fund.
The “hollowing-out,” or “two poles” hypothesis is tested in the context of a Markov chain model of exchange rate transitions. In particular, two versions of the hypothesis—that hard pegs are an absorbing state, or that fixes and floats form a closed set, with no transitions to intermediate regimes—are tested using two alternative classifications of regimes. While there is some support for the lack of exits from hard pegs (i.e., that they are an absorbing state), the data generally indicate that the intermediate cases will continue to constitute a sizable proportion of actual exchange rate regimes.