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Rocio Gondo, Altynai Aidarova, and Mr. Manmohan Singh
This paper discusses migration and remittances trends, and calculates the natural (or benchmark) level of dollarization in Caucasus, Central Asia and others in the region. This natural level of dollarization is conceptually linked to the currency allocation in a portfolio of deposits to maximize welfare, in line with Ize and Levy Yeyati (2003). The fall in remittances due to the economic slowdown since the spread of COVID-19 affects the macroeconomic fundamentals that determine demand for foreign currency deposits. We calculate the natural dollarization level by integrating structural macroeconomic characteristics. We show that despite the reduction in deposit dollarization, there is still a gap with respect to the natural level of dollarization, especially in a scenario of (persistent) lower remittance inflows.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that growth has strengthened in Kazakhstan supported by higher oil production and increased activity in trade and manufacturing. Robust exports have contributed to an improvement of the external current account. Inflation has declined and remained within the target band of the National Bank of Kazakhstan (NBK). This, along with anchoring of inflationary expectations, has allowed the NBK to undertake several interest rate cuts. Growth is expected to remain solid, although there are risks. Overall growth will likely slow as the increase of oil production moderates, but non-oil growth should increase further over the medium term, reflecting structural reforms and financial repair and deepening.
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.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Kyrgyz Republic’s Fourth and Fifth Reviews Under the Three-Year Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility, and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria (PCs). Program performance has been mixed. All end-December 2016 and end-June 2017 quantitative PCs, and all but three indicative targets (ITs) were met. The December 2016 IT on tax revenue, the continuous IT on introducing new or renewing existing tax exemptions, and the June 2017 IT on reserve money were not observed. Six structural benchmarks were missed, of which five were proposed to be postponed or modified at the time of the fourth review. Resuming the reform agenda and pursuing consolidation efforts are essential to allow growth to reach its potential over the medium term.