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Patrick Blagrave and Weicheng Lian
We study the inflation process in India, focusing on the periods before and after the adoption of flexible inflation-forecast targeting (FIT) in India. Our analysis uses several approaches including standard Phillips curve estimation for headline and core inflation, an examination of the sensitivity of medium-term inflation expectations to inflation surprises, and the properties of convergence between headline and core inflation. Results indicate an important role for domestic factors in driving the inflation process, and there is evidence that expectations have become more anchored since 2015. This result could be attributable to FIT adoption, or to persistently low food prices which dominate the post-FIT-adoption period. The policy implications of these structural changes in the inflation process are investigated using a semi-structural model calibrated to the Indian economy.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance report on El Salvador highlights analysis on the Monthly Volume Indicator of Economic Activity (IMVAE) and institutional sector accounts mission. The mission reviewed the process followed by the National Accounts Department team to consolidate the IMVAE and compile the economic activity indicators established in accordance with the recommendations of the previous mission carried out in September 2017. It found a very thorough analysis and review of the basic statistics available for measuring that indicator. Particularly noteworthy is the magnitude of the interinstitutional effort to provide new information gleaned from the results of the Monthly and Quarterly Economic Surveys, conducted by the Directorate General of Statistics and Censuses with Central Reserve Bank of El Salvador support. The mission suggested to continue to apply the methodology established for compiling and continuously updating the IMVAE, while constantly analyzing the consistency, quality, and timeliness of the calculation of the indicator and its alignment with quarterly data and ensuring that it is consistent with the concepts and guidelines underlying Quarterly National Accounts aggregates.
Valentina Flamini, Pierluigi Bologna, Fabio Di Vittorio, and Rasool Zandvakil
Credit is key to support healthy and sustainable economic growth but excess aggregate credit growth can signal the build-up of imbalances and lead to systemic financial crisis. Hence, monitoring the credit cycle is key to identifying vulnerabilities, particularly in emerging markets, which tend to be more exposed to sudden external shocks and reversal in capital flows. We estimate the credit cycle in Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic and find that the creadit gap is a powerful predictor of systemic vulnerability in the region. We simulate the activation of the Basel III countercyclical capital buffers and discuss the macroprudential policy implications of the results, arguing that countercyclical macroprudential policies based on the credit gap could prove useful to enhance the resilience of the region’s financial sector but the activation of macroprudential instruments should also be informed by the development of other macrofinancial variables and by expert judgment.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper proposes a simple nowcast model for an early assessment of the Salvadorian economy. The exercise is based on a bridge model, which is one of the many tools available for nowcasting. For El Salvador, the bridge model exploits information for the period 2005–17 from a large set of variables that are published earlier and at higher frequency than the variable of interest, in this case quarterly GDP. The estimated GDP growth rate in the 4th quarter of 2017 is 2.4 percent year-over-year, leading to an average GDP growth rate of 2.3 percent in 2017. This is in line with the GDP growth implied by the official statistics released two months later, in March 23, 2018.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission about the compilation of Coordinated Direct Investment Survey and Coordinated Portfolio Investment Survey (CPIS) in El Salvador. The mission recommended the authorities to research the nature of the information available that may be useful for starting the CPIS. This entails discussions regarding the forms designed during the mission for requesting information from new sources. It was also recommended to continue efforts to improve the coverage of surveys applied to nonfinancial private sector enterprises, with emphasis on the largest enterprises that are still reluctant to respond to the balance-of-payments questionnaires.