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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.
Mr. Peter J Kunzel, Phil De Imus, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Risto Herrala, Mr. Alexei P Kireyev, and Farid Talishli
The Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries are at an important juncture in their economic transition. Following significant economic progress during the 2000s, recent external shocks have revealed the underlying vulnerabilities of the current growth model. Lower commodity prices, weaker remittances, and slower growth in key trading partners reduced CCA growth, weakened external and fiscal balances, and raised public debt. the financial sector was also hit hard by large foreign exchange losses. while commodity prices have recovered somewhat since late 2014, to boost its economic potential, the region needs to find new growth drivers, diversify away from natural resources, remittances, and public spending, and generate much stronger private sector-led activity.
Mrs. Swarnali A Hannan, Maximiliano Appendino, and Michele Ruta
This paper analyzes how the formation of Global Value Chains (GVCs) has affected the exchange rate elasticity of exports. Using a panel framework covering 46 countries over the period 1996-2012, we first find some suggestive evidence that the elasticity of real manufacturing exports to the Real Effective Exchange Rate (REER) has decreased over time. We then examine whether the formation of supply chains has affected this elasticity using different measures of GVC integration. Intuitively, as countries are more integrated in global production processes, a currency depreciation only improves competitiveness of a fraction of the value of final good exports. In line with this intuition, we find evidence that GVC participation reduces the REER elasticity of manufacturing exports by 22 percent, on average.
Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Mr. Jonathan F Manning, and Jesmin Rahman
After the 2003-2007 economic boom, European countries with large pre-crisis current account imbalances are undergoing adjustments. Countries are adjusting at different paces and ways reflecting the source and magnitude of imbalances, availability of financing, competitiveness of the tradable sector and external environment. While emerging European countries with large pre-crisis imbalances and a fixed exchange rate regime have seen sharp current account adjustments and a rebound in growth, adjustment in the euro zone periphery countries, which are also carrying a legacy of pre-crisis CA imbalances, has been gradual with difficulties bringing back growth. This paper is an empirical investigation of current account adjustment in Europe with a focus on these two groups, looking at contributions from cyclical and other factors, and seeking to draw policy conclusions.
Mr. Atish R. Ghosh, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, and Mr. Charalambos G Tsangarides
Why have emerging market economies (EMEs) been stockpiling international reserves? We find that motives have varied over time?vulnerability to current account shocks was relatively important in the 1980s but, as EMEs have become more financially integrated, factors related to the magnitude of potential capital outflows have gained in importance. Reserve accumulation as a by-product of undervalued currencies has also become more important since the Asian crisis. Correspondingly, using quantile regressions, we find that the reason for holding reserves varies according to the country's position in the global reserves distribution. High reserve holders, who tend to be more financially integrated, are motivated by insurance against capital account rather than current account shocks, and are more sensitive to the cost of holding reserves than are low-reserve holders. Currency undervaluation is a significant determinant across the reserves distribution, albeit for different reasons.
Mr. Helge Berger and Volker Nitsch
When does trade become a one-way relationship? We study bilateral trade balances for a sample of 18 European countries over the period from 1948 through 2008. We find that, with the introduction of the euro, trade imbalances among euro area members widened considerably, even after allowing for permanent asymmetries in trade competitiveness within pairs of countries or in the overall trade competitiveness of individual countries. This is consistent with indications that pair-wise trade tends to be more balanced when nominal exchange rates are flexible. Intra-euro area imbalances also seem to have become more persistent with the introduction of the euro, some of which is linked to labor market inflexibility. Reviewing the direction of imbalances, we find that bilateral trade surpluses are decreasing in the real exchange rate, decreasing in growth differentials, and increasing in the relative volatility of national business cycles. Finally, countries with relatively higher fiscal deficits and less flexible labor and product markets exhibit systematically lower trade surpluses than others.
Kingsley I. Obiora
Should policymakers still be concerned about economic growth in trading partners? Have developing and emerging market countries decoupled from the US enough to grow despite significant recession in the US? Using VAR models, this paper addresses these questions for Nigeria in the context of the global crisis. The results seem to debunk the "decoupling theory" and suggest there are still significant spillovers from Nigeria's main trading partners, including the US, with trade and commodity price linkages being the dominant transmission channels. Given the sharp fall in both trade financing and commodity prices in aftermath of the crisis, these results provide some explanation to the realization of adverse second-round effects in Nigeria.