Mr. Mark A Horton, Hossein Samiei, Mr. Natan P. Epstein, and Mr. Kevin Ross
Since late 2014, exchange rates (ERs) and ER regimes of the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries have come under strong pressure. This reflects the decline of oil and other commodity prices, weaker growth in Russia and China, depreciation of the Russian ruble, and appreciation of the U.S. dollar, to which CCA currencies have historically been linked. Weaker fiscal and current account balances and increased dollarization have complicated the picture. CCA countries entered this period with closely managed ER regimes and, in many cases, currencies assessed by IMF staff to be overvalued. CCA central banks have price stability as their main policy objective, and most have relied on ER stability to achieve this objective. Thus, the first policy response involved intervention in local foreign exchange (FX) markets, often with limited communication. In this context, the IMF staff has reviewed ER policy advice and implementation strategies for CCA countries.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
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The International Monetary and Finance Committee at its 2004 Annual Meetings called on the international community to provide assistance including “further debt relief” to low-income countries for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It reaffirmed the Fund’s “important role” in supporting lowincome countries and called on the Fund to consider “further debt relief and its financing.” More impetus for this request was provided by various recent proposals (summarized in Annex I). At their meeting in London in February, G7 Finance Ministers expressed their willingness to provide as much as 100 percent multilateral debt relief.
Ms. Nada Mora, Ms. Ratna Sahay, Mr. Jeromin Zettelmeyer, and Mr. Pietro Garibaldi
Between 1991 and 1999, capital flows to 25 transition economies in Europe and the former Soviet Union differed widely in terms of overall levels and the share and composition of private flows. With some exceptions (notably Russia), the main form of private inflows was foreign direct investment. Portfolio investment was volatile and concentrated in a handful of countries. Regressions show that direct investment can be well explained in terms of economic fundamentals, whereas the presence of a financial market infrastructure and a property-rights indicator are the only explanatory variables that seem to have had a robust effect on portfolio investment.
Georgia's medium-term economic goals are to reestablish fiscal and external sustainability and reduce poverty. The conduct of monetary policy has remained sound. Fiscal consolidation has been supported by important measures to strengthen public expenditure management and improve fiscal transparency. Measures to combat corruption, restructure the energy sector, and privatize key enterprises must be accelerated in order to underpin faster growth and poverty reduction. Georgia's efforts to restore its solvency will require continued international support, including further concessional lending and external debt rescheduling.
This occasional paper provides an overview of the economic reform experiences of the Central Asian states of the former Soviet Union since their independence at the turn of the decade. The choice of countries reflects not only a geographical grouping, but also similarities in the types of transition challenges faced by these countries notwithstanding considerable variations in their sizes, ethnic composition, resource endowments, and economic structures. The paper attempts to identify a number of key macroeconomic and structural areas where the slower reformers in the group might benefit from the experience of the faster reformes.
This paper examines the influence of economic liberalization and monetary growth on inflation during the transition from central plan to market. It concludes that price decontrol had a substantial, one-time effect on the price level but no lasting effect on inflation; that economic liberalization broadly defined may have helped dampen price increases; and that monetary expansion has been the fundamental determinant of inflation in the region. The paper also finds that the intensity of liberalization has been related to geographic proximity to market economies, to the size of the underground economy, and to the degree of political freedom.
This paper discusses the significant overall progress with macro stabilization of these transition countries during 1992-1997. While average inflation declined steadily since 1992, output fell significantly for many of these countries during this period, and it was not unti 1996-97 that as a group they experienced positive growth, financial policies, the current account, competitiveness, debt-and non-debt-creating capital flows, and the initial impact of the Asian crisis.
This paper reviews economic developments in Turkmenistan during 1994–98. Turkmenistan reduced gas exports and suffered a decline in real GDP of close to 40 percent during 1993–95. At the same time, it stepped up foreign borrowing and constrained imports by limiting access to foreign exchange to sustain gross international reserves at the equivalent of 6–9 months of imports. The distortions associated with the perpetuation of central controls, coupled with an accommodating monetary policy, led to financial instability, raising annual average inflation rates to close to 1,500 percent during 1993–95.
This paper describes economic developments in the Republic of Armenia during 1990s. The lagged effects of the more expansionary stance of late 1996, combined with real shocks in early 1997, especially poor weather, and a loss in the momentum in structural reform, particularly privatization, led to a slowdown in growth to about 3 percent during the first nine months of 1997 compared with the same period in 1996. Inflation, measured by the 12-month increase in consumer prices, rose to 23 percent by end-September 1997 from 16½ percent a year earlier.