This Selected Issues paper discusses the assessment of economic activity in Togo in absence of quarterly GDP series. Togo collects about 40 macroeconomic indicators monthly that span a wide range of sectors of the economy. The selection of the variables for the economic activity index is conducted by finding the combination of variables. The indicators are aggregated into an index using a methodology used by the Conference Board. Then an economic activity index is constructed that effectively replicates the historical growth rates of real GDP in Togo. The selected index minimizes the deviations between the growth rates of the indicator and actual real GDP growth over 2002–13.
This Selected Issues paper employs a suite of models to determine the main drivers of inflation in Poland. Inflation in Poland has stayed below the lower bound of the target band for about two years with external shocks adding to downward pressure during 2014. The paper provides a range of inflation forecasts to assess the likelihood of protracted low inflation. The paper considers the main factors underlying recent inflation developments and assesses the importance of first-round indirect and second-round effects of external shocks for headline inflation. Using a variety of models, the paper also provides possible forecast paths for inflation in Poland.
Khalid ElFayoumi, Anta Ndoye, Miss Sanaa Nadeem, and Gregory Auclair
Institutional and market frictions impose costs on the reallocation of labor from low to high
productivity sectors, leading to suboptimal allocations and a loss in aggregate labor productivity.
Using cross-country sector-level data, we use a dynamic panel error correction model to compute
the speed of sectoral labor adjustment, as well as the contribution of structural reforms in
governance, labor and product markets, trade and openness, and the financial sector to lowering
the costs of labor reallocation. We find that, on average, sectoral employment shares converge
towards equilibrium allocations, closing about 13.7 percent of labor productivity gaps each year;
this speed of labor adjustment varies across sectors and income groups. On structural reforms, we
find a significant association between more efficient labor reallocation and financial market
liberalization, less bureaucracy, strong judicial and regulatory environment, trade liberalization,
better education and more flexible labor and product markets.
Mr. Serhan Cevik, Jan Gottschalk, Mr. Eric Hutton, Laura Jaramillo, Pooja Karnane, and Moussé Sow
Structural transformation has resulted in an increasing share of services in aggregate value-added in advanced and developing countries across the world. We analyze the impact of this shift into services on countries’ efficiency in collecting the value-added tax (VAT). The analysis is based on two alternative measures of VAT efficiency: (1) the VAT C-efficiency, using a broad panel of 134 countries over the period 1970-2014; and (2) the VAT gap using a more granular, proprietary dataset that draws on the results of IMF’s Revenue Administraion-Gap Analysis Program covering 24 countries over the period 2004-2016. We find that a higher share of services in aggregate value-added reduces the VAT efficiency, and that this adverse effect is mainly a result of a rise of non-tradable services, which in turn contributes to a narrowing of the VAT base.
This paper investigates the relationship between the nominal exchange rate regime and the volatility of relative commodity prices. The analysis shows that the relationship depends upon both the market structure and the economic agent’s perception about future exchange rate movements. When the markets for manufactured goods are less competitive than the markets for primary commodities, the volatility of relative commodity prices rises when exchange rate uncertainty increases. If demand for manufactured goods is intertemporally dependent, even a small increase in exchange rate uncertainty can result in potentially large costs in terms of increased relative commodity price instability.
Manoj Atolia, Mr. Prakash Loungani, Milton Marquis, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
This paper takes a fresh look at the current theories of structural transformation and the role of
private and public fundamentals in the process. It summarizes some representative past and
current experiences of various countries vis-a-vis structural transformation with a focus on the
roles of manufacturing, policy, and the international environment in shaping the trajectory of
structural transformation. The salient aspects of the current debate on premature
deindustrialization and its relation to a middle-income trap are described as they relate to the
path of structural transformation. Conclusions are drawn regarding prospective future paths for
structural transformation and development policies.