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Mr. Paul Cashin and Rahul Anand

Abstract

High and persistent inflation has presented serious macroeconomic challenges in India in recent years, increasing the country’s domestic and external vulnerabilities. A number of factors underpin India’s high inflation. This book analyzes various facets of Indian inflation—the causes, consequences, and policies being implemented to manage it. Several chapters are devoted to analyzing and managing food inflation, given its significance in driving overall inflation dynamics in India.

Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper employs a dynamic multi-country framework to analyze the international macroeconomic transmission of El Niño weather shocks. This framework comprises 21 country/region-specific models, estimated over the period 1979Q2 to 2013Q1, and accounts for not only direct exposures of countries to El Niño shocks but also indirect effects through thirdmarkets. We contribute to the climate-macroeconomy literature by exploiting exogenous variation in El Niño weather events over time, and their impact on different regions crosssectionally, to causatively identify the effects of El Niño shocks on growth, inflation, energy and non-fuel commodity prices. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to El Niño shocks. While Australia, Chile, Indonesia, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa face a short-lived fall in economic activity in response to an El Niño shock, for other countries (including the United States and European region), an El Niño occurrence has a growth-enhancing effect. Furthermore, most countries in our sample experience short-run inflationary pressures as both energy and non-fuel commodity prices increase. Given these findings, macroeconomic policy formulation should take into consideration the likelihood and effects of El Niño weather episodes.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Le FMI publie deux fois par an des Perspectives économiques régionales pour cinq régions : Asie et Pacifique ; Europe ; Moyen-Orient et Asie centrale ; Afrique subsaharienne ; et hémisphère occidental. Chaque rapport aborde l'évolution économique récente et les perspectives de la région concernée, ainsi que pour certains pays. Les rapports comportent des données statistiques clés sur les pays de la région. Chaque rapport traite des politiques qui ont eu une incidence sur les résultats économiques régionaux et précise les enjeux auxquels les décideurs sont confrontés. Les perspectives à court terme, les principaux risques et les difficultés de politique économique afférentes sont analysés tout au long des rapports, qui examinent également l'actualité (par exemple, comment mettre fin progressivement à l'intervention publique tout en préservant une reprise économique mondiale qui reste fragile). Ces rapports précieux sont l'aboutissement d'études interdépartementales exhaustives, fondées pour l'essentiel sur les renseignements recueillis par les services du FMI dans le cadre de leurs consultations avec les pays membres.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The five Regional Economic Outlooks published biannually by the IMF cover Asia and Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. In each volume, recent economic developments and prospects for the region are discussed as a whole, as well as for specific countries. The reports include key data for countries in the region. Each report focuses on policy developments that have affected economic performance in the region, and discusses key challenges faced by policymakers. The near-term outlook, key risks, and their related policy challenges are analyzed throughout the reports, and current issues are explored, such as when and how to withdraw public interventions in financial systems globally while maintaining a still-fragile economic recovery.These indispensable surveys are the product of comprehensive intradepartmental reviews of economic developments that draw primarily on information the IMF staff gathers through consultation with member countries.

Mr. Shaun K. Roache
The macroeconomic effects of large food price swings can be broad and far-reaching, including the balance of payments of importers and exporters, budgets, inflation, and poverty. For market participants and policymakers, managing low frequency volatility—i.e., the component of volatility that persists for longer than one harvest year—may be more challenging as uncertainty regarding its persistence is likely to be higher. This paper measures the low frequency volatility of food commodity spot prices using the spline- GARCH approach. It finds that low frequency volatility is positively correlated across different commodities, suggesting an important role for common factors. It also identifies a number of determinants of low frequency volatility, two of which—the variation in U.S. inflation and the U.S. dollar exchange rate—explain a relatively large part of the rise in volatility since the mid-1990s.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper assesses the external competitiveness of Mauritius over the period 1980–2007, with particular attention to the most recent years. The paper estimates the equilibrium real exchange rate using the macroeconomic balance approach, the single-equation equilibrium exchange rate approach, and the capital-enhanced equilibrium exchange rate approach. A wealth of structural competitiveness indicators are also analyzed. The findings indicate that the real exchange rate at the end of 2007 was broadly in line with its equilibrium value.
Mr. Francisco José Veiga and Mr. Ari Aisen
The purpose of this paper is to empirically determine the causes of worldwide diversity of inflation volatility. We show that higher degrees of political instability, ideological polarization, and political fragmentation are associated with higher inflation volatility.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

This paper presents the economic outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa for 2005. Against a background of an easing of demand for imports in advanced countries, average real GDP growth is expected to decline slightly in 2005 from its strong performance in 2004. The slowdown in 2005, however, is attributable primarily to lower growth in most of the oil-producing countries following the exceptional increases in oil production capacity established during 2003 and 2004, especially in Nigeria. Non-oil-producing countries are expecting average growth of about 4.5 percent, similar to that observed in 2004.