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Mr. Serkan Arslanalp and Mr. Waikei R Lam
This paper examines how Japan’s long-term interest rates and Japanese banks’ interest rate risk exposures may evolve under Abenomics. Results from a panel regression analysis for major advanced economies shows that long-term government bond yields in Japan are determined to a large extent by growth and inflation outlook, fiscal conditions, demography, and the investor base of government securities. A further deterioration of fiscal conditions would push up long-term rates by about 2 percentage points over the medium term, but the rise is partly offset by higher demand for safe assets amid population aging and increased purchases by the Bank of Japan. At the same time, illustrative scenarios suggest the interest rate risk exposure of Japanese banks could decline substantially over the next two years. However, if structural and fiscal reforms are incomplete, both long-tem yields and interest-risk exposures of Japanese banks could increase over the medium term.
The June issue of the IMF Research Bulletin looks at the role of IMF programs and capacity building in fostering structural reforms and the economics of Arab countries undergoing political transitions. The Q&A analyzes the neutral interest rate through the experiences of several Latin American countries. The Research Bulletin also includes its regular features: a listing of IMF Working Papers and Staff Discussion Notes, information on the forthcoming IMF Economic Review and the Fourteenth Jacques Polack Annual Research Conference, and recommended readings from IMF Publications.
Ms. Ratna Sahay and Rishi Goyal
This paper compares the pattern of macroeconomic volatility in 17 Latin American countries during episodes of high and low growth since 1970, examining in particular the role of policy volatility. Macroeconomic outcomes are distinguished from macroeconomic policies, structural reforms and reversals, shocks, and institutional constraints. Based on previous work, a composite measure of structural reforms is constructed for the 1970-2004 period. We find that outcomes and policies are more volatile in low growth episodes, while shocks (except U.S. interest rates) are similar across episodes. Fiscal policy volatility is associated with lower growth, but fiscal policy procyclicality is not. Low levels of market-oriented reforms and structural reform reversals are also associated with lower growth.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The Web edition of the IMF Survey is updated several times a week, and contains a wealth of articles about topical policy and economic issues in the news. Access the latest IMF research, read interviews, and listen to podcasts given by top IMF economists on important issues in the global economy. www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/survey/so/home.aspx