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Patrick Blagrave
Co-movement (synchronicity) in inflation rates among a set of 13 emerging and developing countries in Asia is shown to be strongest for the food component, partly due to common rainfall shocks—a result which the paper terms the ‘monsoon effect.’ Economies with higher trade integration and co-movement in nominal effective exchange rates also experience greater food-inflation co-movement. By contrast, cross-country co-movement in core inflation is weak and the aforementioned determinants have little explanatory power, suggesting a prominent role for idiosyncratic domestic factors in driving core inflation. In the context of the growing literature on the globalization of inflation, these results suggest that common weather patterns are partly responsible for any role played by a so-called ‘global factor’ among inflation rates in emerging and developing economies, in Asia at least.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Macroeconomic conditions have improved recently. Growth appears to be picking up while inflation has declined to low single digits; foreign reserves have been increasing on the back of a strong financial account; the fiscal balance has recorded a surplus in the past two years; and credit growth remains moderate. Financial soundness indicators point to a modest improvement in the health of the financial sector.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that the GDP growth in Bhutan has slowed from about 10 percent in FY2011 (July 1–June 30) to 5 percent in FY2013. Slower growth reflects policy efforts to contain overheating pressures in the form of restrictions on credit for construction and vehicle. Inflation has remained elevated, tracking closely that of India (Bhutan’s main trading partner). Social development indicators have improved steadily, and Bhutan is on track or has achieved most of its Millennium Development Goals. Growth is projected to recover to 6½ percent in FY2014, driven mainly by a pick-up in hydropower-related construction activities and domestic services.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that the GDP growth in Bhutan has slowed from about 10 percent in FY2011 (July 1–June 30) to 5 percent in FY2013. Slower growth reflects policy efforts to contain overheating pressures in the form of restrictions on credit for construction and vehicle. Inflation has remained elevated, tracking closely that of India (Bhutan’s main trading partner). Social development indicators have improved steadily, and Bhutan is on track or has achieved most of its Millennium Development Goals. Growth is projected to recover to 6½ percent in FY2014, driven mainly by a pick-up in hydropower-related construction activities and domestic services.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix on Bhutan underlie the macroeconomic impact of Tala, rapid private sector credit growth, and macroeconomic risks. In Bhutan, as the bulk of Tala-related flows go through the government accounts, this requires an appropriate fiscal stance and skillful expenditure management. Strong economic growth will require and lead to a deepening and further development of the financial system in Bhutan. The financial sector seems to be relatively shielded from adverse events, although risks remain.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for the 2007 Article IV Consultation on Bhutan explains the macroeconomic setting, economic developments, outlooks, risks, and challenges. Bhutan’s economic prospects are bright. Construction of two hydropower projects will help sustain real GDP growth over the medium term. With the exchange rate peg to the Indian rupee, inflation is expected to be in line with price developments in India. Executive Directors commended Bhutan’s prudent macroeconomic policies and political stability, which have yielded robust growth, an appreciable improvement in social indicators, and progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

Nephil Matangi Maskay
The member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation have set as a target the achievement of an economic union by 2020. Reaching this goal will require greater levels of monetary cooperation. How should this be achieved? Data from South Asia suggest that member states have minor trade linkages and face asymmetrical patterns of shocks. This paper concludes that, absent a clear road map for monetary cooperation, the present process must be structured so as to be harmonized with the level of regional economic integration.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In a press release issued on July 28, the IMF announced it has approved a 17-month Stand-By credit for Russia equivalent to SDR 3.3 billion (about $4.5 billion) to support the government’s 1999–2000 economic program. There will be seven equal disbursements of SDR 471.4 million (about $640 million), with the first installment to be released immediately. Subsequent installments will depend on quarterly reviews being completed and performance criteria and structural benchmarks beingmet. At the conclusion of the IMF Executive Board meeting, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer made the following statement.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In a press release issued on July 28, the IMF announced it has approved a 17-month Stand-By credit for Russia equivalent to SDR 3.3 billion (about $4.5 billion) to support the government’s 1999–2000 economic program. There will be seven equal disbursements of SDR 471.4 million (about $640 million), with the first installment to be released immediately. Subsequent installments will depend on quarterly reviews being completed and performance criteria and structural benchmarks beingmet. At the conclusion of the IMF Executive Board meeting, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer made the following statement.

Mr. David M. Cheney

The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx