Mr. Mark A Horton, Hossein Samiei, Mr. Natan P. Epstein, and Mr. Kevin Ross
Since late 2014, exchange rates (ERs) and ER regimes of the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries have come under strong pressure. This reflects the decline of oil and other commodity prices, weaker growth in Russia and China, depreciation of the Russian ruble, and appreciation of the U.S. dollar, to which CCA currencies have historically been linked. Weaker fiscal and current account balances and increased dollarization have complicated the picture. CCA countries entered this period with closely managed ER regimes and, in many cases, currencies assessed by IMF staff to be overvalued. CCA central banks have price stability as their main policy objective, and most have relied on ER stability to achieve this objective. Thus, the first policy response involved intervention in local foreign exchange (FX) markets, often with limited communication. In this context, the IMF staff has reviewed ER policy advice and implementation strategies for CCA countries.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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The International Monetary and Finance Committee at its 2004 Annual Meetings called on the international community to provide assistance including “further debt relief” to low-income countries for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It reaffirmed the Fund’s “important role” in supporting lowincome countries and called on the Fund to consider “further debt relief and its financing.” More impetus for this request was provided by various recent proposals (summarized in Annex I). At their meeting in London in February, G7 Finance Ministers expressed their willingness to provide as much as 100 percent multilateral debt relief.
This 2003 Article IV Consultation highlights that real GDP of Ukraine grew by more than 4½ percent in 2002, marking the third year of Ukraine’s economic expansion following the 1998/99 financial crisis. As in 2001, growth was not only supported by robust consumer spending, reflecting large wage increases, but also by an increase in net external demand. Consumer price inflation fell to near zero in 2002, reflecting primarily the good harvests in 2001/02 and the resulting sharp drop in food prices. Low inflation was also supported by a tightening of fiscal policy and delays in increasing administered prices.
Ms. Nada Mora, Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, and Mr. Pietro Garibaldi
Between 1991 and 1999, capital flows to 25 transition economies in Europe and the former Soviet Union differed widely in terms of overall levels and the share and composition of private flows. With some exceptions (notably Russia), the main form of private inflows was foreign direct investment. Portfolio investment was volatile and concentrated in a handful of countries. Regressions show that direct investment can be well explained in terms of economic fundamentals, whereas the presence of a financial market infrastructure and a property-rights indicator are the only explanatory variables that seem to have had a robust effect on portfolio investment.
Georgia's medium-term economic goals are to reestablish fiscal and external sustainability and reduce poverty. The conduct of monetary policy has remained sound. Fiscal consolidation has been supported by important measures to strengthen public expenditure management and improve fiscal transparency. Measures to combat corruption, restructure the energy sector, and privatize key enterprises must be accelerated in order to underpin faster growth and poverty reduction. Georgia's efforts to restore its solvency will require continued international support, including further concessional lending and external debt rescheduling.
This paper reviews economic developments in Turkmenistan during 1996–99. Inflation is an issue in Turkmenistan. The trend decline that started in mid-1996 came to a halt in late 1998 and inflation continued to increase in 1999. By mid-1999, 12-month inflation had increased to 25 percent. Owing to payment problems, gas exports to Ukraine were discontinued in early 1997, resulting in a sharp decline in real GDP in that year. In 1998, gas exports did not resume, other than small deliveries to Iran through a new pipeline that had become operational at end-1997.
This occasional paper provides an overview of the economic reform experiences of the Central Asian states of the former Soviet Union since their independence at the turn of the decade. The choice of countries reflects not only a geographical grouping, but also similarities in the types of transition challenges faced by these countries notwithstanding considerable variations in their sizes, ethnic composition, resource endowments, and economic structures. The paper attempts to identify a number of key macroeconomic and structural areas where the slower reformers in the group might benefit from the experience of the faster reformes.
This paper examines the influence of economic liberalization and monetary growth on inflation during the transition from central plan to market. It concludes that price decontrol had a substantial, one-time effect on the price level but no lasting effect on inflation; that economic liberalization broadly defined may have helped dampen price increases; and that monetary expansion has been the fundamental determinant of inflation in the region. The paper also finds that the intensity of liberalization has been related to geographic proximity to market economies, to the size of the underground economy, and to the degree of political freedom.
This paper reviews economic developments in Ukraine during 1996–99. Output decline continued in 1997 and 1998, especially following the August 1998 crisis in Russia. During this period, Ukraine made substantial progress in reducing inflation, mainly through the implementation of a monetary policy that aimed at keeping the exchange rate broadly stable. However, the fiscal situation remained difficult, despite a sizable adjustment in 1998. Throughout the period, economic policy was influenced by developments in international capital markets.