International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Maldives living standards have risen to middle income levels over the past two decades driven by tourism development. The country's geography-with a widely dispersed population across small far flung islands-creates fiscal challenges and the economy has faced persistent fiscal deficits over the past decade. The economy is highly exposed to climate change which further adds to fiscal costs.
This study examines the degree of exchange rate pass through (EPRT) into producer and consumer prices in Maldives. ERPT to consumer prices is first estimated using a nonparametric approach. A recursive vector autoregression is then used to model both consumer and producer price changes. The nonparametric estimation indicates that ERPT to consumer prices is very high, both in absolute terms and relative to other countries. The dynamics of ERPT as derived from the empirical estimation indicate that ERPT to consumer and producer prices is significant but not complete, and that the impact of exchange rate changes persists into the second year.
This 2008 Article IV Consultation highlights that the main challenge for Maldives is to contain fiscal expenditures that have increased sharply following the tsunami. Expenditure has reached extraordinarily high levels by international and historical standards, with the majority of the increase in domestically financed expenditure unrelated to the tsunami. Executive Directors were encouraged that Maldives’ economy has rebounded strongly from the December 2004 tsunami. Directors have commended the authorities for implementing the Maldives Monetary Authority Act by appointing an independent governor.
This paper attempts to assess the impact of the oil shock on South Asian economies, including Sri Lanka, as well as policy responses to deal with the shock, and the real income loss for low-income households if fuel subsidies were fully removed. The most important impact has been on the balance of payments followed by the results of poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA) conducted for Sri Lanka. Finally, the paper explores to what extent Sri Lanka’s large receipts of worker remittances serve as a hedge against shocks.
The member states of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation have set as a target the achievement of an economic union by 2020. Reaching this goal will require greater levels of monetary cooperation. How should this be achieved? Data from South Asia suggest that member states have minor trade linkages and face asymmetrical patterns of shocks. This paper concludes that, absent a clear road map for monetary cooperation, the present process must be structured so as to be harmonized with the level of regional economic integration.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.