International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper highlights Peru’s Request for Arrangement Under the Flexible Credit Line (FCL). Peru qualifies for the FCL by virtue of its very strong fundamentals and institutional policy frameworks and track record of economic performance and policy implementation. The coronavirus disease 2019 shock poses an extraordinary challenge, which is pushing the Peruvian economy into a recession. The authorities have responded decisively by putting in place stringent containment measures and a large policy package to limit the socio-economic fallout, which has been possible thanks to Peru’s ample fiscal space and monetary policy credibility. The package includes a broad set of measures aimed at containing the health emergency, supporting vulnerable businesses and households, and maintaining adequate credit flows to the economy. Nonetheless, and despite its very strong policy buffers, Peru remains vulnerable to external tail risks. A prolonged Covid-19 outbreak would have significant repercussions for trade and financial flows, which could put significant pressure on Peru’s balance of payments and magnify the adverse domestic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 shock.
This Selected Issues paper discusses initiatives to promote export diversification and growth in Liberia. Liberia’s exports have been very concentrated in the past, but some progress in export diversification has been made in recent years, mostly in the enclave sectors. The government has launched the Liberia Agricultural Transformation Agenda (LATA) to support diversification and transformation. LATA strives to build up the agricultural sector as well as adopt a supportive industrial policy. Improving business climate and external competitiveness could play an important role in increasing export diversification in Liberia. Efficiency could also be increased through better access to markets and technology, cheaper imported inputs, as well as more competition with imports.
This Selected Issues paper aims at identifying some of the main channels of transmission through which political instability feeds and foster fragility and provide an estimate of the “fragility gap” that haunts the Bissau-Guinean society. This paper argued that, until today, due to chronic political instability, Guinea-Bissau has been in a costly fragility trap. This analytical piece argues that the major factor behind Guinea-Bissau’s fragility has been the chronic political instability. It also uncovers some of the main transmission channels from political instability to fragility and provides simple estimates about the cost of instability. Estimates based on reasonable assumptions reveal that, considering only Guinea-Bissau’s post-war period, without chronic political instability real GDP per capita could have been at least two thirds higher than its 2013 level. This assessment shows the crucial importance of the security sector reform. It also shows that the current estimated cost of the security sector reform is modest in comparison, since it puts into perspective its monetary costs—which are easy to calculate and mostly frontloaded—vis-à-vis its wide and deep benefits, which are not as explicit and accrue over time.
This Selected Issues paper on West African Economic and Monetary Union presents external stability assessment report. The current account deficit declined in 2014. Although gross international reserve coverage has increased slightly, part of the current account deficit has been financed by a decline in commercial banks’ net foreign assets. Contingent on the implementation of government’s consolidation plans, and helped by a favorable oil price outlook, the current account deficit would further gradually decline and be matched by enough financial inflows in the medium term. According to various metrics, the real exchange rate appears to be broadly aligned with fundamentals. International reserve coverage should increase to provide stronger buffers against immediate short-term risks. Structural competitiveness and investment efficiency improvements will be essential to ensure that the planned large investment programs translate into growth and export gains as well as increased private inflows into the region.
Mr. Stijn Claessens, Mr. Hui Tong, and Mr. Igor Esteban Zuccardi Huertas
This paper analyzes through what channels the euro crisis has affected firm valuations globally. It examines stock price responses over the past year for 3045 non-financial firms in 16 countries to three key crisis events. Using pre-crisis benchmarks, it separates effects arising from changes in external financing and trade conditions and examines how bank and trade linkages propagated effects across borders. It finds that policy measures announced impacted financially-constrained firms more, particularly in creditor countries with greater bank exposure to peripheral euro countries. Trade linkages with peripheral countries also played a role, with euro exchange rate movements causing differential effects.