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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper presents Paraguay’s Request for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI). In March 2020, Paraguay was hit by the Covid-19 epidemic, which has created fiscal and balance of payments needs. The authorities’ policy response to the epidemic has been timely, but limited access to financing and a weakened fiscal position constrain the ability to pursue a deeper emergency response. The Paraguayan authorities are requesting financial assistance under the IMF’s RFI to address the urgent balance of payments needs associated with the Covid-19 epidemic. Given the urgency of their request, there is no time to put in place a full-fledged upper credit tranche program, and the authorities are of the view that they can make suitable adjustments to manage their medium-term balance of payments challenges. In order to prevent the emergence of permanently high deficits after the crisis, Paraguay should return to the deficit ceiling under the Fiscal Responsibility Law. The exchange rate should continue to function as shock absorber, and monetary policy should focus on inflation targeting.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper investigates the reasons for the growth pickup in Paraguay and explores the potential for sustainable future growth. It shows that the growth acceleration over the past 15 years is the combined result of a few factors: a bounce back from the crisis in the late 1990s and the subpar growth of the two decades prior; a benevolent external environment, the commodity price boom in particular; and the improved macroeconomic stability. Also in terms of its composition, growth in the past has largely been extensive, mostly coming from capital deepening and increasing labor inputs, rather than productivity increase, though total factor productivity growth has played a bigger role in the most recent years. Despite strong growth in recent years, like most of the Latin America, seen over a longer period, Paraguay has not attained significant economic convergence with advanced economies. Empirical data shows a strong linkage between the GDP per capita of a country and its score in a composite structural indicator such as the World Competitiveness Index, which Paraguay ranked poorly on. Identifying and correcting Paraguay’s structural deficiencies that may be hampering productivity growth and capital accumulation will be crucial for sustainable growth.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper investigates the impact of exchange rate movements on private consumption in Uruguay. Uruguay is a highly dollarized economy, which makes the relationship between exchange rate movements and private consumption particularly complex. The paper shows that a large share of Uruguayan households is liquidity constrained, which allows the transitory real income shocks brought about by exchange rate pass-through to have a significant impact on consumption. Moreover, exchange rate pass-through is highly heterogenous, with relative prices of durables increasing (decreasing) following a depreciation (appreciation). This creates incentives for households to engage in intertemporal substitution where they buy durables when they are relatively cheaper. Data from Input–Output tables show that Uruguay produces a nontrivial amount of the tradable, durable goods it consumes, opening the door to contractionary depreciations. The results offer a potential explanation for the often noted ‘excess volatility of consumption’ in emerging markets for the case of Uruguay.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Paraguay has grown robustly despite a more challenging external environment. The economy gained momentum toward the end of 2016 and expanded by 6.5 percent (year-over-year) during the first quarter of 2017. Real GDP growth is projected to reach 4.2 percent in 2017, reflecting a more moderate pace of activity in the second half of the year. Investment will likely be a crucial driver of growth, as major infrastructure projects are undertaken. Over the medium term, real GDP growth is expected to remain near potential of just below 4 percent. Risks around the outlook are to the downside, especially from heightened political uncertainty in Brazil.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses the recent economic developments of Paraguay. Against the backdrop of a regional slowdown, Paraguay’s economy remains relatively resilient. The economy experienced some loss of momentum over the past year due to unfavorable external shocks. Inflation pressures remain contained despite significant depreciation of the guaraní against the U.S. dollar. Macroeconomic policies remain accommodative in light of subdued inflation and slower growth. Recently, credit growth has moderated, but credit quality has deteriorated. To further strengthen fiscal, monetary, and financial sector policy frameworks, Paraguay outlines structural reform agenda and measures. The national development plan places emphasis on inclusive growth and poverty reduction.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the spillover effects of key external shocks on Paraguay. It presents an overview of Paraguay’s major economic and financial linkages with the rest world, and quantifies the spillover effects of key external factors on the Paraguayan economy, using a vector autoregression approach. The empirical results suggest that global shocks have a significant impact on Paraguay’s growth rate. The paper also highlights that output and exchange rate shocks stemming from Brazil and Argentina are also important, even after controlling for global factors.