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Mr. Michael Stanger

A Supply and Use Table (SUT) serve to increase the quality of GDP and related aggregates by providing a framework to detect and resolve inconsistencies in data sources. SUTs are also a powerful analytical tool that permit users to access information on detailed production functions, consumption, export, and import baskets, or to derive input-output tables. SUT compilation is data intensive and requires a balancing process. The balancing procedure is labor intensive and generally requires several long and sometimes tedious iterations, which has an adverse effect on timeliness. This note describes a basic algorithm developed by the IMF to balance supply and use tables automatically, allowing a much faster SUT balancing process. For training purposes, this algorithm has been implemented as an Excel tool SUTB, making it operational almost globally. The optimization process is illustrated with an example.

Mr. Ashvin Ahuja, Mr. Murtaza H Syed, Kevin Wiseman, and Mr. Vikram Haksar

Assessing country risk is a core component of surveillance at the IMF. It is conducted through a comprehensive architecture, covering both bilateral and multilateral dimensions. This note describes some of the approaches used internally by Fund staff to examine a wide array of systemic risks across advanced, emerging, and low-income economies. It provides a high-level view of the theory and methodologies employed, with an on-line companion guide providing more technical details of implementation. The guide will be updated as Fund staff’s methodologies for assessing country risk continue to evolve with experience and feedback. While the results of these approaches are not published by the IMF for market sensitivity reasons, they inform risk assessments featured in bilateral surveillance as well as in the IMF’s flagship publications on global surveillance.

Mr. Martin D. Cerisola, Mr. Chadi Abdallah, Mr. Victor A Davies, and Mr. Mark Fischer

This note is a reference guide to the econometric work on fiscal multipliers for MENAP countries. Spending and tax multipliers are estimated from conventional VAR models and identified using a sign-restrictions approach. Estimates show that fiscal multipliers tend to be small, except for those associated with government investment spending, which generally exceed unity. For the average MENAP country, fiscal multipliers for current spending, government consumption and government investment spending are 0.5, 0.8, and 1.1,respectively, while the tax revenues multiplier is estimated at around –0.4. There is also significant variation in the size of these multipliers across countries, consistent with differences in economic fundamentals, such as openness to trade and the flexibility of the exchange rate. The estimated multipliers are generally consistent with theoretical priors, and are in line with the evidence from the literature for other economies and categories of spending and taxes.

Mr. David Coady, Javier Arze del Granado, Luc Eyraud, Hui Jin, Mr. Vimal V Thakoor, Ms. Anita Tuladhar, Lilla Nemeth, and Mr. Carlo Cottarelli

Many developing and emerging countries do not fully pass-through increases in international fuel prices to domestic retail prices, with adverse consequences for fuel tax revenues and tax volatility. The adoption of an automatic fuel pricing mechanism can help to address this problem, and the incorporation of a price smoothing mechanism can ensure pass-through over the medium term but also avoid sharp increases (and decreases) in domestic prices. This technical note addresses the following issues: (i) the design of an automatic fuel pricing mechanism; (ii) the incorporation of domestic price smoothing and resulting tradeoffs; (iii) the transition from ad hoc pricing adjustments to an automatic mechanism; and (iv) policies to support this transition and the maintenance of an automatic mechanism. A standardized template for simulating and evaluating the implications of alternative pricing mechanisms for price and fiscal volatility is available on request.

Mr. David Coady, Mr. Javier Arze del Granado, Luc Eyraud, and Ms. Anita Tuladhar