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Camila Casas, Mr. Federico J Diez, Ms. Gita Gopinath, and Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas
Most trade is invoiced in very few currencies. Despite this, the Mundell-Fleming benchmark and its variants focus on pricing in the producer’s currency or in local currency. We model instead a ‘dominant currency paradigm’ for small open economies characterized by three features: pricing in a dominant currency; pricing complementarities, and imported input use in production. Under this paradigm: (a) the terms-of-trade is stable; (b) dominant currency exchange rate pass-through into export and import prices is high regardless of destination or origin of goods; (c) exchange rate pass-through of non-dominant currencies is small; (d) expenditure switching occurs mostly via imports, driven by the dollar exchange rate while exports respond weakly, if at all; (e) strengthening of the dominant currency relative to non-dominant ones can negatively impact global trade; (f) optimal monetary policy targets deviations from the law of one price arising from dominant currency fluctuations, in addition to the inflation and output gap. Using data from Colombia we document strong support for the dominant currency paradigm.
Mr. Tamon Asonuma, Mr. Marcos d Chamon, and Akira Sasahara
Sovereign debt restructurings have been shown to influence the dynamics of imports and exports. This paper shows that the impact can vary substantially depending on whether the restructuring takes place preemptively without missing payments to creditors, or whether it takes place after a default has occurred. We document that countries with post-default restructurings experience on average: (i) a more severe and protracted decline in imports, (ii) a larger fall in exports, and (iii) a sharper and more prolonged decline in both GDP, investment and real exchange rate than preemptive cases. These stylized facts are confirmed by panel regressions and local projection estimates, and a range of robustness checks including for the endogeneity of the restructuring strategy. Our findings suggest that a country’s choice of how to go about restructuring its debt can have major implications for the costs it incurs from restructuring.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper presents an assessment of macro-financial stability in Ecuador. Ecuador is being hit by external shocks that imply a downward adjustment in growth and financial intermediation. The financial system has been liquid and well-capitalized through 2014, but recently pressures on liquidity positions as well as credit and interest risks have been on the rise. Although main financial stability indicators do not show signs of stress in the first half of 2015, the developments warrant close monitoring and rapid reactions if pressures continue.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Article IV discussions with Ecuador were conducted on-site for the first time since 2007 (Annex I). After growing at an average of about 41/2 percent over the past decade-on the wave of high oil prices, a strong public investment agenda, and the anchor of full dollarization-the economy has been hit by significant external shocks since late 2014. The sharp decline in oil prices and significant real exchange rate appreciation have undercut exports and fiscal revenues. The authorities responded rapidly with a large fiscal adjustment, introduction of temporary import surcharges, and moderation of minimum wage growth. The economy is projected to contract in 2015 and growth to remain subdued in 2016, while medium-term potential has been revised down given prospects of lower investment and employment growth.

Mr. Fei Han
This paper quantifies the effects of external risks for Peru, with particular attention to two major external risks, China’s investment slowdown and the U.S. monetary policy tightening. In particular, a macroeconomic model for a small open and partially dollarized economy is developed and estimated for Peru to measure the risk spillovers, and simulate domestic macroeconomic responses in different scenarios with these two external risks. The simulation results suggest that Peru’s output is vulnerable to both risks, particularly the U.S. monetary policy tightening. Simulations also highlight the importance of higher exchange rate flexiblity and a lower degree of dollarization, which could help mitigate the negative spillover effects of these external risks.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper examines application of fiscal framework alternatives to the case of Peru. Although growth has been at historical highs over the last decade, Peru still has an important infrastructure gap and a quarter of its population still lives in poverty. This paper applies illustratively new modified frameworks recently developed by the IMF to the case of Peru. It takes stock of analytical considerations to resource management, and analyzes Peru’s natural resource wealth and the investment climate. The paper also presents results from simulating alternative Permanent Income Hypothesis (PIH) based approaches and expenditure smoothing fiscal rules.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Brazil is building on 10 years of robust economic fundamentals. Economic growth, which has long been anemic, is beginning to pick up. Inflation continues to be low. Consumer prices rose only 3 percent between January 2006 and January 2007 and inflation expectations remain low. Brazil’s external position is solid, with a strong current account surplus—1½ percent of GDP last year—and international reserves around $97 billion, equivalent to about 175 percent of its short-term debt.

International Monetary Fund
The paper finds that simple econometric specifications yield surprising rich and complex dynamics -- relative prices respond to the nominal exchange rate and pass-through effects, import and export volumes respond to relative price changes, and the trade balance responds to changes in import and export values.