Many low-income countries do not use interest rates as their main monetary policy instrument. In East Africa, for instance, targeting money aggregates has been pretty much the rule rather than the exception. Nevertheless, these targets are seldom met and often readjusted according to the economic environment. This opens up the possibility that central banks are de facto pursuing a strategy more akin to a Taylor Rule. Estimations of small-scale models for Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania suggest that these self-styled "monetary targeters" are respecting the Taylor Principle, that is are on average increasing nominal interest rates more than proportionally to inflation. Nevertheless, steep deviations from the Taylor Rule have taken place in Kenya and Tanzania. In Uganda, these errors are much smaller, in fact similar in size to Taylor Rule deviations found for Brazil. More surprisingly, they are smaller than South Africa’s, the continent’s sole long-term inflation targeter.
Mr. Andrew Berg, Ms. Filiz D Unsal, and Mr. Rafael A Portillo
Many low-income countries continue to describe their monetary policy framework in terms of targets on monetary aggregates. This contrasts with most modern discussions of monetary policy, and with most practice. We extend the new-Keynesian model to provide a role for “M” in the conduct of monetary policy, and examine the conditions under which some adherence to money targets is optimal. In the spirit of Poole (1970), this role is based on the incompleteness of information available to the central bank, a pervasive issues in these countries. Ex-ante announcements/forecasts for money growth are consistent with a Taylor rule for the relevant short-term interest rate. Ex-post, the policy maker must choose his relative adherence to interest rate and money growth targets. Drawing on the method in Svensson and Woodford (2004), we show that the optimal adherence to ex-ante targets is equivalent to a signal extraction problem where the central bank uses the money market information to update its estimate of the state of the economy. We estimate the model, using Bayesian methods, for Tanzania, Uganda (both de jure money targeters), and Ghana (a de jure inflation targeter), and compare the de facto adherence to targets with the optimal use of money market information in each country.
This paper explores the sources of inflation in Sub-Saharan Africa by examining the relationship between inflation, the output gap, and the real money gap. Using heterogeneous panel cointegration estimation techniques, we estimate cointegrating vectors for the production function and the real money demand function to recover the structural output and money gaps for seventeen African countries. The central finding is that both gaps contain significant information regarding the evolution of inflation, albeit with a larger role played by the money gap. There is no significant evidence of asymmetry in the relationship.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the underlying sources of growth in Uganda, suggesting that the contribution to growth from total factor productivity has been minor, while the high population growth poses a significant challenge to sustain a rapid improvement in living standards. The paper takes a closer look at the monetary transmission mechanisms in Uganda, aimed at assessing the appropriate choice of intermediate target and mix of liquidity sterilization instruments. It also focuses on the recent financial sector reforms undertaken by the government.