Potential Output is a key factor for debt sustaintability analysis and for developing strategies for growth, but unfortunately it is an unobservable variable. Using three methodologies (production function, switching, and state-space), this paper computes potential output for CAPDR countries using annual data. Main findings are: i) CAPDR potential growth is about 4.4 percent while output gap volatility is about 1.9 percent; ii) The highest-potential growth country is Panama (6.5 percent) while the lowest-growth country is El Salvador (2.6 percent); iii) CAPDR business cycle is about eigth years.
The current government has succeeded in reorienting economic policies after a series of shocks and an initial weak policy response. Revised real GDP growth targets are feasible with sustained prudent macroeconomic policies and institutional reforms. The medium-term macroeconomic framework centers on sustained prudent fiscal and monetary policies. The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) could include a more detailed description of the actions being implemented to strengthen the financial system. The pursuit of fiscal discipline to restore macroeconomic stability has dominated the second year of strategy implementation.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
IMF economists and researchers from outside the institution gathered at the IMF’s Third Annual Research Conference on November 7-8. The conference had an overarching theme of capital flows and global governance but also dealt with an eclectic array of other issues that economists at the IMF and elsewhere are exploring.