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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Nigerian economy is at a critical juncture. A weak pre-crisis economy characterized by falling per capita income, double-digit inflation, significant governance vulnerabilities and limited buffers, is grappling with multiple shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Real output is projected to contract by 3.2 percent in 2020, with a weak recovery likely to keep per capita income stagnant and no higher than the 2010 level in the medium term. Policy adjustment and reforms are urgently needed to navigate this crisis and change the long-running lackluster course.
Mr. Serhan Cevik and Belma Öztürkkal
This paper investigates the impact of infectious diseases on the evolution of sovereign credit default swap (CDS) spreads for a panel of 77 advanced and developing countries. Using annual data over the 2004-2020 period, we find that infectious-disease outbreaks have no discernible effect on CDS spreads, after controlling for macroeconomic and institutional factors. However, our granular analysis using high-frequency (daily) data indicates that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on market-implied sovereign default risk. This adverse effect appears to be more pronounced in advanced economies, which may reflect the greater severity of the pandemic and depth of the ensuing economic crisis in these countries as well as widespread underreporting in developing countries due to differences in testing availability and institutional capacity. While our analysis also shows that more stringent domestic containment measures help lower sovereign CDS spreads, the macro-fiscal cost of efforts aimed at curbing the spread of the disease could undermine credit worthiness and eventually push the cost of borrowing higher.
Thomas McGregor
How do oil price movements affect sovereign spreads in an oil-dependent economy? I develop a stochastic general equilibrium model of an economy exposed to co-moving oil price and output processes, with endogenous sovereign default risk. The model explains a large proportion of business cycle fluctuations in interest-rate spreads in oil-exporting emerging market economies, particularly the countercyclicallity of interest rate spreads and oil prices. Higher risk-aversion, more impatient governments, larger oil shares and a stronger correlation between domestic output and oil price shocks all lead to stronger co-movements between risk premiums and the oil price.
Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, Ms. Stefania Fabrizio, and Kodjovi M. Eklou
This paper investigates the impact of domestic fuel price increases on export growth in a sample of 77 developing countries over the period 2000-2014. Using a fixed-effect estimator and the local projection approach, we find that an increase in domestic gasoline or diesel price adversely affects real non-fuel export growth, but only in the short run as the impact phases out within two years after the shock. The results also suggest that the negative effect of fuel price increase on exports is mainly noticeable in countries with a high-energy dependency ratio and countries where access to an alternative source of energy, such as electricity, is constrained, thus preventing producers from altering energy consumption mix in response to fuel price changes.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
The Research Summaries in this issue of the IMF Research Bulletin cover “Tax Capacity and Growth” (by Vitor Gaspar, Laura Jaramillo, and Philippe Wingender), and “U.S. Shale Revolution and Its Spillover Effects on the Global Economy” (Ravi Balakrishnan, Keiko Honjo, Akito Matsumoto, and Andrea Pescatori). The Q&A coauthored by Amadou Sy and Mariama Sow covers “Seven Questions about the Relationship between Country Finance and Governance.” A listing of recent IMF Working Papers, Staff Discussion Notes, and Recommended Readings from IMF Publications is included in the IMF Research Bulletin. Readers can also find news on free-to-view articles from IMF Economic Review and a call for conference papers in this issue of the Bulletin.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses key issues related to the Indonesian economy. Indonesia has weathered challenging economic conditions well. The economy has safely navigated the commodity price shocks, tightening financial conditions, and repeated bouts of turbulence in global financial markets, assisted by broadly appropriate macroeconomic policies. The Indonesian economy, however, is still facing headwinds. Against this backdrop, the 2015 Article IV consultation is focused on the need to manage short-term vulnerabilities and to boost potential growth in the medium-term. The challenge for Indonesia will be to follow through on the reforms that the government has already launched and undertake further macrocritical reforms to boost productivity and diversify growth, while maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability.