This Selected Issues paper examines a number of potential factors that may have influenced the short-term behavior of the exchange rate between the Chilean peso and the U.S. dollar during the period of floating exchange rate, including the possible impact of developments in Argentina during 2001. The paper investigates whether copper prices can be successfully forecasted over medium-term horizons, emphasizing the properties of copper prices most relevant in the Chilean context, including for fiscal policymaking. The paper also provides a snapshot of the Chilean banking and corporate sectors.
Using the international input-output tables between Japan and five Pacific Basin countries (Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand) for the years 1975 and 1985, the paper examines the trade structure in 1975 and how it had shifted by 1985. It shows that intra-industry trade in manufactured products expanded as Japan increased imports of more capital-intensive products from these countries. Intra-industry trade of intermediate inputs increased substantially more than of final products, reflecting a trend by manufacturers to subdivide the production process of intermediate inputs and to shift their locations to different countries. This suggests a more active development of international labor in the intermediate stages of production and a deepening of regional linkages.
Primary commodities still account for the bulk of exports in many developing countries. However, real commodity prices have been declining almost continuously since the early 1980s and there is evidence of renewed weakness. The appropriate policy response to a terms of trade shock depends importantly on whether the shock is perceived to be temporary or permanent. Our results indicate that the recent weakness in commodity prices is mostly of a secular nature, stressing the need for commodity exporting countries to concentrate on export diversification and other structural policies. There is, however, scope for stabilization funds and the use of hedging strategies since the evidence also suggests commodity prices have become more volatile.
This paper explores trends in payment imbalances between 1952 and 1964. When desired reserves deviate appreciably from actual holdings, the authorities will sooner or later readjust their economic policies to reduce the magnitude of the deviation. On the assumption that the priorities given in individual countries to domestic and external objectives of economic policy and the attitudes toward the use of various policy instruments remain unchanged, desired reserves would tend to rise chiefly as a result of the increase in the size of expected payments fluctuations. International reserves of all 65 countries of the study rose over the period studied by 2.5 per cent a year. This low rate of increase reflects, however, the large reduction in US reserves. For all countries of the study excluding the United States, the reserves grew by 6.0 per cent a year. Leaving aside the loss of reserves by the United States, reserves of all countries appear, therefore, to have grown roughly in proportion to the value of trade and to the size of payments imbalances.