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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Nigerian economy is at a critical juncture. A weak pre-crisis economy characterized by falling per capita income, double-digit inflation, significant governance vulnerabilities and limited buffers, is grappling with multiple shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Real output is projected to contract by 3.2 percent in 2020, with a weak recovery likely to keep per capita income stagnant and no higher than the 2010 level in the medium term. Policy adjustment and reforms are urgently needed to navigate this crisis and change the long-running lackluster course.
Mr. Robin Koepke and Simon Paetzold
This paper provides an analytical overview of the most widely used capital flow datasets. The paper is written as a guide for academics who embark on empirical research projects and for policymakers who need timely information on capital flow developments to inform their decisions. We address common misconceptions about capital flow data and discuss differences between high-frequency proxies for portfolio flows. In a nowcasting “horse race” we show that high-frequency proxies have significant predictive content for portfolio flows from the balance of payments (BoP). We also construct a new dataset for academic use, consisting of monthly portfolio flows broadly consistent with BoP data.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2020 Article IV Consultation focuses on Nepal’s near and medium-term challenges and policy priorities and was prepared before coronavirus disease 2019 became a global pandemic and resulted in unprecedented strains in global trade, commodity and financial markets. During recent years, strong growth in Nepal has been supported by greater political stability, improved electricity supply, and reconstruction activity following the devastating earthquakes in 2015. Additional policies are needed to continue to support inclusive growth, while safeguarding macroeconomic and financial stability. Fiscal policy should remain prudent, and the transition to fiscal federalism carefully managed. Macroprudential measures should remain in place to limit the build-up of financial sector risk. Recent reforms to boost foreign investment need a supportive implementation environment. Strengthening the implementation of monetary policy requires a well-functioning interest rate framework that reduces volatility in short-term interest rates. Less short-term interest rate volatility would support financial market development and improve policy signaling and transmission. The IMF staff emphasizes the need to introduce a standing deposit facility as a first step toward establishing a reliable implementation track record for the interest rate corridor.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with India discusses that India has been among the world’s fastest-growing economies in recent years, lifting millions out of poverty. However, growth slowed to a six-year low in the first half of 2019, with both consumption and investment decelerating owing to weak, especially rural, income growth, stresses in the nonbank financial sector, and corporate and environmental regulatory uncertainty. On the external sector, following a rise in vulnerabilities in 2018, stability has returned, anchored by high foreign reserve buffers and a modest current account deficit. With its strong mandate, the new government has an opportunity to reinvigorate the reform agenda aimed at boosting inclusive and sustainable growth. In the near term, given the cyclical weakness of the economy, monetary policy should maintain an easing bias at least until the projected recovery takes hold. Fiscal stimulus should be avoided given fiscal space at risk and revenue losses from the recent corporate income tax rate cut should be offset.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that Myanmar’s economy is expected to gain steam albeit at a somewhat slower pace than previously envisaged but faces greater downside risks including from the crisis in Rakhine state. The country’s long-term prospects remain strong, supported by a growing demographic dividend, a competitive labor force and its strategic location. The discussions recommend that successful implementation of the second wave of reforms in the Myanmar Sustainable Development Plan with a focus on peace, stability and good governance will help sustain the growth take-off and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Financial regulations and supervision should be strengthened with a view to ensuring financial stability and deepening, while forming contingency plans to address systemic banking risks, and strengthening the resolution framework. Fiscal policy should be directed towards SDG-related spending, while lowering Central Bank of Myanmar financing and ensuring debt sustainability. The business environment is expected to benefit from upgraded infrastructure, access to finance, and strengthening of the overall governance framework.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Article IV Consultation highlights that following a prolonged period of tepid growth, economic activity in Nepal has picked up, reflecting cyclical factors and some structural improvements, especially in electricity supply. Discussions focused on policies needed to stem rising balance of payments pressures, safeguard financial stability, and structural reforms to ensure high, sustainable and inclusive growth. Continued improvements in revenue performance are seen to be important to maintain a strong fiscal position and meet capital spending needs. The IMF staff welcomed the authorities’ efforts to increase domestic revenue mobilization. The authorities broadly agreed with the IMF staff’s assessment and fiscal policy advice. The authorities noted that the transition to fiscal federalism and the pickup of reconstruction. Progress has been made with putting in place a fiscal federal framework but more needs to be done to ensure sustainability, make budgets more realistic and spending more efficient, and build implementation capacity.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
As part of the IMF-South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) work program, a technical assistance (TA) mission on external sector statistics (ESS) was conducted during April 2–13, 2018. The mission assisted the Royal Monetary Authority (RMA) in compiling and disseminating external debt statistics (EDS) consistent with the international investment position (IIP), reviewed the compilation method of direct investment statistics, and assessed the coverage of external flows related to hydropower projects.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that Bhutan continued to make strides in raising per capita incomes and reducing poverty as it concluded the 11th Five Year Plan in 2018. Notably, poverty declined from 12 percent in 2012 to 8.2 percent, and extreme poverty fell to just 1.5 percent. The country is poised to transition to middle-income status, with per capita incomes at nearly US$3,600 in 2018, up from US$1,100 in 2004. Growth has remained robust, averaging 6 percent over the 11th Plan. In FY2018, growth is expected to slow to 5.8 percent from 7.4 percent in FY2017, reflecting slowing construction activity of hydropower projects set to come on stream in 2018 and beyond.