The COVID-19 pandemic is having an adverse impact on Rwanda’s economy, despite a sizeable policy response. Output in 2020 is projected to contract by 0.2 percent, compared to an 8 percent increase expected pre-pandemic. The government’s early actions helped contain the spread of the virus and mitigate its economic impact, supported by financing from Rwanda’s development partners, including from the IMF under the RCF. With the number of infections contained, the authorities are gradually easing up containment measures.
Mr. Jan Vlcek, Mikhail Pranovich, Patrick Hitayezu, Bruno Mwenese, and Christian Nyalihama
National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) modernized monetary policy and transited to the price-based policy framework in January 2019. The Forecasting and Policy Analysis System (FPAS) is the cornerstone for the new forward-looking framework, which mobilizes and organizes resources and sets processes for regular forecasting rounds. The core of this system is a structural macroeconomic model for macroeconomic analysis and projections to support the BNR staff’s policy recommendations to the monetary policy committee. This paper documents the quarterly projection model (QPM) at the core of the FPAS at the BNR. The model is an extension of the canonical structure in Berg et al (2006) to reflect specifics of the interest-rate-based policy framework with a managed exchange rate, the effect of agricultural sector and harvests on prices, and the role of fiscal policies and aid flows.
COVID-19 has had a severe economic impact on Rwanda through the implementation of strict domestic measures to contain the spread of the virus and the related global spillovers. The authorities have responded by rolling out health and economic measures totaling USD 311 million (3.3 percent of GDP) to mitigate the impact on businesses and households. To help address the urgent balance of payments need arising from the pandemic, the Executive Board approved on April 2 and June 11, 2020 the authorities’ consecutive requests for emergency financing under the “exogenous window” of the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) totaling SDR 160.2 million (IMF Country Reports No. 20/115 and No 20/207). This brings the total IMF COVID-19 support to Rwanda to 100 percent of quota, or USD 220.46 million.
Does monetary policy react systematically to macroeconomic innovations? In a sample of 16 countries – operating under various monetary regimes – we find that monetary policy decisions, as expressed in yield curve movements, do react to macroeconomic innovations and these reactions reflect the monetary policy regime. While we find evidence of the primacy of the price stability objective in the inflation targeting countries, links to inflation and the output gap are generally weaker and less systematic in money-targeting and multiple-objective countries.
This paper discusses Cote d’Ivoire’s Sixth Review Under the Arrangement of the Extended Credit Facility and the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility, and Request for Extension and Augmentation of Access. Côte d’Ivoire has been pursuing a development-oriented policy agenda, and the IMF-supported program in place since 2016 has supported that focus, paving the way for the private sector to become the main driver of growth. The performance under the program has been strong. The medium-term growth prospects remain robust, predicated on continuing prudent macroeconomic policy, furthering financial sector reforms and sustaining structural reforms to bolster private sector-led inclusive growth. Côte d’Ivoire’s reform efforts have resulted in improvements in its business climate in recent years. It will be imperative to continue the reform agenda to further stimulate private sector activity and support inclusive growth, including by improving the energy sector, human capital and financial inclusion, accelerating digitalization, enhancing trade connectivity and governance, expanding the coverage of social safety nets, and reinforcing the statistical apparatus to help better inform economic policy.