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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Zimbabwe experienced severe exogenous shocks (cyclone Idai, protracted drought, and the COVID-19 pandemic) during 2019-20, which along with policy missteps in 2019, led to a deep recession and high inflation. Real GDP contracted cumulatively by 11.7 percent during 2019-20 and inflation reached 837 percent (y/y) by July 2020. Reflecting good rainfall and relaxation of containment measures, real GDP rose by 6.3 percent in 2021. A tighter policy stance since mid-2020 (relative to 2019) has contributed to reducing inflation to 60.7 percent (y/y) at end-2021. However, high double-digit inflation and wide parallel foreign exchange (FX) market premia persist. The economic downturn and high inflation increased the financial system vulnerabilities. Extreme poverty has risen and about a third of the population is at risk of food insecurity. The international community seeks improvements in domestic political conditions and economic policies to initiate reengagement with Zimbabwe. The authorities have started token payments to external creditors in a bid to revive international reengagement.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

1. Several factors have interacted to propel fragility in Zimbabwe and undermine economic and social outcomes (Annex I). Periods of strong growth were not sustained owing to climatic and health shocks, as well as policies that fueled economic imbalances, distorted prices, promoted rent-seeking, and weakened competitiveness. In the 2000s, a challenging land reform and an HIV/AIDs epidemic, accompanied by weak institutions, exacerbated the output decline. Per capita income lags its peak and that of sub-Saharan Africa and extreme poverty has risen sharply. On the positive side, human development has caught up with and surpasses that of peers.

International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The RBZ is in the process of recommencing on-site examinations, but due to COVID-19 operational restrictions, these will need to be undertaken remotely. The RBZ has developed a draft remote examination framework document to guide this work and requested AFS assistance to review the framework, and also provide information on how other supervisors are undertaking examinations remotely. The mission provided training on international practice of remote examinations, which was presented by supervisors from the Bank of Ghana (BOG), Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and reviewed the draft remote examination framework document. The training covered adjustments to examination framework and operational issues and key points of consideration when undertaking examinations remotely. The mission also reviewed the RBZ consolidated examination manual, to provide feedback to the RBZ on the feasibility of undertaking supervisory examinations remotely, as described in the manual and provide points for consideration for undertaking such examination remotely.
Mr. Itai Agur, Mr. Damien Capelle, Mr. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia, and Mr. Damiano Sandri
This paper reviews the theoretical arguments in favor and against MF and presents an empirical assessment of the risks that it may pose for inflation.
Charles Vellutini and Juan Carlos Benitez
This paper presents a novel technique to measure and compare the redistributive capacity of observed tax (or transfer) policies. The technique is based on income distribution simulations and controls for differences in pre-tax income distributions. It assumes that the only information on the pre-tax distribution available in each country-year is the Gini coefficient and the mean (GDP per capita). We illustrate the technique with an application to the personal income tax, using a dataset of 108 countries over the 2007-2018 period.