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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

This issue discusses a number of factors affecting global growth, as well as growth prospects across the world’s main countries and regions. It assesses the ongoing recovery from the global financial crisis in advanced and emerging market economies and evaluates risks, both upside and downside, including those associated with commodity prices, currency fluctuations, and financial market volatility. A special feature examines in detail causes and implications of the recent commodity price downturn; analytical chapters look at the effects of commodity windfalls on potential output and of exchange rate movements on trade.

Mr. R. S Craig, Mr. Changchun Hua, Philip Ng, and Raymond Yuen
Offshore use of the renminbi expanded rapidly in Hong Kong SAR as China sought to develop an international role for its currency while maintaining capital controls. This prompts two questions addressed in this paper: How far advanced is renminbi internationalization? And, what role does Chinese capital account liberalization play? The first is addressed by testing the extent of integration of offshore and onshore markets for the renminbi using a Threshold Autoregression (TAR) model and finds that there are substantial unexploited arbitrage opportunities. A VAR model is used to indentify factors contributing to this limited market integration and finds that capital controls and shifts in global market sentiment explain much of the divergence in onshore and offshore renminbi exchange rates. To address the second question, the paper shows how capital account measures have been used to promote offshore use of the renminbi more actively in the wake of the global financial crisis, but that this was done asymmetrically with controls on inflows eased to a greater extent than on outflows. It concludes that a more balanced liberalization process will sustain progress in renminbi internationalization.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The April 2012 edition of the World Economic Outlook assesses the prospects for the global economy, which has gradually strengthened after a major setback during 2011. The threat of a sharp global slowdown eased with improved activity in the United States and better policies in the euro area. Weak recovery will likely resume in the major advanced economies, and activity will remain relatively solid in most emerging and developing economies. However, recent improvements are very fragile. Policymakers must calibrate policies to support growth in the near term and must implement fundamental changes to achieve healthy growth in the medium term. Chapter 3 examines how policies directed at real estate markets can accelerate the improvement of household balance sheets and thus support otherwise anemic consumption. Chapter 4 examines how swings in commodity prices affect commodity exporting economies, many of which have experienced a decade of good growth. With commodity prices unlikely to continue growing at the recent elevated pace, however, these economies may have to adapt their fiscal and other policies to lower potential output growth in the future.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The consumer price index (CPI) measures the rate at which the prices of consumer goods and services are changing over time. It is a key statistic for economic and social policymaking and has substantial and wide-ranging implications for governments, businesses, and households. This important and comprehensive Manual provides guidelines for statistical offices and other agencies responsible for constructing CPIs, and explains in-depth the methods that are used to calculate a CPI. It also examines the underlying economic and statistical concepts and principles needed for making choices in efficient and cost-effective ways, and for appreciating the full implications of those choices.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.