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Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper employs a dynamic multi-country framework to analyze the international macroeconomic transmission of El Niño weather shocks. This framework comprises 21 country/region-specific models, estimated over the period 1979Q2 to 2013Q1, and accounts for not only direct exposures of countries to El Niño shocks but also indirect effects through thirdmarkets. We contribute to the climate-macroeconomy literature by exploiting exogenous variation in El Niño weather events over time, and their impact on different regions crosssectionally, to causatively identify the effects of El Niño shocks on growth, inflation, energy and non-fuel commodity prices. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to El Niño shocks. While Australia, Chile, Indonesia, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa face a short-lived fall in economic activity in response to an El Niño shock, for other countries (including the United States and European region), an El Niño occurrence has a growth-enhancing effect. Furthermore, most countries in our sample experience short-run inflationary pressures as both energy and non-fuel commodity prices increase. Given these findings, macroeconomic policy formulation should take into consideration the likelihood and effects of El Niño weather episodes.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that growth in the Fijian economy increased to 2¼ percent in 2012, supported by income tax cuts, low interest rates, and the one-time payouts under the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) reform, which offset the negative impact of the severe floods and Cyclone Evan on the agriculture and tourist sectors. Inflation declined as imported commodity and food prices moderated. With a lower-than-budgeted deficit of 1 percent of GDP, Fiji’s debt-to-GDP ratio continued to decline in 2012. The latest available indicators suggest accelerating growth momentum in the first half of 2013 boosted by increases in disposable income, bank borrowing, and rising investment.
Mr. Stephen Tokarick
This paper provides quantitative estimates of the impact of removing agricultural support (both tariffs and subsidies) in partial- and general-equilibrium frameworks. The results show that agricultural support in industrial countries is highly distortionary and tariffs have a larger distortionary impact than subsidies. Removal of agricultural support would likely raise the international prices of food, resulting in an increase in the cost of food for many net-food- importing countries, although the increase is generally small. The results also show that most of the benefits from removing agricultural support accrue to the countries that liberalize.
Ms. Hong Liang, Mr. C. John McDermott, and Mr. Paul Cashin
This paper examines the persistence of shocks to world commodity prices, using monthly IMF data on primary commodities between 1957–98. We find that shocks to commodity prices are typically long–lasting and the variability of the persistence of price shocks is quite wide. The paper also discusses the implications of these findings for national and international schemes to stabilize earnings from commodity exports and finds that if price shocks are long–lived, then the cost of stabilization schemes will likely exceed any associated smoothing benefits.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper focuses on the insolvency of the National Bank of Fiji (NBF). As of June 1995, an estimated two-thirds of its loan portfolio was judged to be nonperforming (7½ percent of GDP), with slim chances of recovery, leaving the bank with a negative net worth estimated at F$170 million. The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) raised concerns about the NBF’s lending practices as early as 1991, but it lacked the power to enforce a solution. The problems continued to grow until the NBF’s liquidity position finally became untenable in 1994.
Dominique Yves Dupont and Mr. V. Hugo Juan-Ramon
This paper examines the relations between fluctuations in real exchange rates among the major currencies and fluctuations in real commodity prices. Increased exchange rate volatility calls for a better understanding of these relations. To the best of our knowledge, no systematic study of those effects has been performed on a wide range of commodities, although Sjaastad and Scacciavillani (1993) have done so for gold. We build on their approach and construct a supply and demand multi-country model, with world market clearing, which incorporates speculative and non-speculative demands for inventories and “static” and “rational” expectations. We estimate the model using several econometric methods on monthly data from January 1972 to January 1992 for 65 commodity prices. The paper finds that, for a small group of commodities, the dollar-denominated price is significantly influenced by the deutsche mark and the yen. The empirical results show that geographical proximity matters, and that supply and demand elasticities are important in determining the commodity price in world markets above and beyond the size of the share of those commodities in world trade.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews economic developments in Fiji during 1990–95. The reorientation of policies, although incomplete, led to stronger growth of nontraditional exports and non-sugar manufacturing, and to a pickup in GDP growth to an average of 4.1 percent between 1988 and 1993. Fiscal deficits declined in the early 1990s, although often larger than budgeted, and the external current account progressively turned into a surplus position. Despite the actions undertaken, however, private investment did not recover from its slump in the late 1980s impeding the economy from fully exploiting its growth potential.
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.
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.