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Mr. Andrew Berg and Mr. Rafael A Portillo

Abstract

Monetary policy in sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) has undergone an important transformation in recent decades. With the advent of sustained growth and generally stable fiscal policies in much of the region, many countries are now working to modernize their monetary policy frameworks. This book provides a comprehensive view of the many monetary policy issues in sub-Saharan Africa. It reflects an effort to fill a gap in the current literature and collects research by staff of the IMF and other institutions, as well as from policymakers within central banks in SSA. The chapters explore the many dimensions of monetary policy in SSA. This volume will serve as an important reference for academics and policymakers and will inform future policy debates. The book highlights two points, one policy-related and the other methodological. Although these countries differ in important ways from advanced and emerging market countries, the monetary policy issues they face are not fundamentally different from those faced elsewhere. Policy aims to provide an anchor for inflation over the medium term while also responding to external and domestic shocks. Likewise, Sub-Saharan African countries are in the process of modernizing their policy frameworks, by clarifying their objectives and improving their operational frameworks, making policy increasingly forward-looking and improving their forecasting and analytical capacity.

Francisco Arizala, Mr. Jesus R Gonzalez-Garcia, Mr. Charalambos G Tsangarides, and Mustafa Yenice
This paper examines the growth performance of sub-Saharan African countries since 1960 through the lens of growth turning points (accelerations and decelerations) and periods of sustained growth (growth spells). Growth accelerations are generally associated with improved external conditions, increased investment and trade openness, declines in inflation, better fiscal balances, and improvements in the institutional environment. Transitioning from growth accelerations to growth spells often requires additional efforts beyond what is needed to trigger an acceleration. Growth spells are sustained by fiscal policy that prevents excessive public debt accumulation, monetary policy geared toward low inflation, outward-oriented trade policies, and structural policies that reduce market distortions, as well as supportive external environment and improvements in democratic institutions. Overall, determinants of growth spells in sub-Saharan Africa are different from those in the rest of the emerging and developing countries.
Mr. Paolo Dudine and João Tovar Jalles
In this paper we provide short- and long-run tax buoyancy estimates for 107 countries (distributed between advanced, emerging and low-income) for the period 1980–2014. By means of Fully-Modified OLS and (Pooled) Mean Group estimators, we find that: i) for advanced economies both long-run and short-run buoyancies are not different from one; ii) long run tax buoyancy exceeds one in the case of CIT for advanced economies, PIT and SSC in emerging markets, and TGS for low income countries, iii) in advanced countries (emerging market economies) CIT (CIT and TGS) buoyancy is larger during contractions than during times of economic expansions; iv) both trade openness and human capital increase buoyancy while inflation and output volatility decrease it.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses the assessment of economic activity in Togo in absence of quarterly GDP series. Togo collects about 40 macroeconomic indicators monthly that span a wide range of sectors of the economy. The selection of the variables for the economic activity index is conducted by finding the combination of variables. The indicators are aggregated into an index using a methodology used by the Conference Board. Then an economic activity index is constructed that effectively replicates the historical growth rates of real GDP in Togo. The selected index minimizes the deviations between the growth rates of the indicator and actual real GDP growth over 2002–13.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper presents an analysis of change in Zambia’s mining fiscal regime. Foreign investment has revived Zambia’s mining sector. However, its mining sector’s direct contribution to government revenues has been low. Reflecting persistent concerns about the low contribution of the mining sector to budget revenues, the government has amended the fiscal regime many times over the last seven years. The 2015 budget introduced major changes to the mining fiscal regime. The authorities estimate that the change would boost budget revenues from the mining sector by about 1 percent of GDP, based on an assumption that the change would have no adverse impact on production.
International Monetary Fund
With single-digit inflation and substantial financial deepening, developing countries are adopting more flexible and forward-looking monetary policy frameworks and ascribing a greater role to policy interest rates and inflation objectives. While some countries have adopted formal inflation targeting regimes, others have developed frameworks with greater target flexibility to accommodate changing money demand, use of policy rates to signal the monetary policy stance, and implicit inflation targets.
Mr. Andrew Berg, Ms. Luisa Charry, Mr. Rafael A Portillo, and Mr. Jan Vlcek
Many central banks in low-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa are modernising their monetary policy frameworks. Standard statistical procedures have had limited success in identifying the channels of monetary transmission in such countries. Here we take a narrative approach, following Romer and Romer (1989), and center on a significant tightening of monetary policy that took place in 2011 in four members of the East African Community: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. We find clear evidence of the transmission mechanism in most of the countries, and argue that deviations can be explained by differences in the policy regime in place.