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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix on Brazil looks at price developments following the floating of the Real in mid-January 1999. The paper highlights that the experiences in East Asia—Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand—all show that the pass-through from devaluation to inflation has been lower than expected, with the exception of Indonesia. The paper analyzes the competitiveness and export performance of Brazil. Effects of high interest rates and currency depreciation on Brazilian enterprises are also analyzed.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Fourth Review Under the Extended Fund Facility Arrangement and Request for Modification of Performance Criteria-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Tunisia

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

On June 13, 2018 the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the 2018 Article IV consultation1 and established performance criteria for the second review under the Stand-By Arrangement with Kenya.

International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper focuses on Japan’s public debt and the challenges facing small- and medium-size enterprises in Japan. Historically, Japan’s public debt has been financed in a fairly smooth manner. The large pool of household savings and the stable domestic institutional investor base appear to have contributed to this successful experience. However, Japan is already undergoing rapid population aging, which will likely limit the market’s future absorptive capacity of public debt. In addition, structural shifts in institutional investors could also serve to reduce market demand.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix summarizes the evolution of monetary institutions in The Bahamas. It discusses the framework in which monetary policy is conducted in the country. Following a brief description of the evolution of institutions, the paper summarizes the monetary policy objectives and constraints of the central bank, and assesses the instruments to achieve these objectives. The paper concludes that the central bank has been able to use interest rate changes, selective credit controls, and moral suasion to achieve its monetary objectives.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper presents an assessment of the monetary policy stance and broad financial conditions in Colombia, which provides insights about macro-financial linkages. It also discusses how nonfinancial corporate debt and leverage have increased in recent years, supported by easy access to capital markets, abundant global liquidity, and low interest rates. While some sectors look somewhat more strained than others (oil, gas, and airlines), debt servicing capacity has also improved with recent economic growth. This paper explores three possible drivers of inflation dynamics in Colombia: exchange rate pass-through, the El Niño meteorological phenomenon, and wages. The Colombian peso depreciated in line with the decline in oil prices, pushing up tradable-goods inflation.
Mr. Adrian Alter and Selim Elekdag
Corporate debt in emerging markets has risen significantly in recent years amid accommodative global financial conditions. This paper studies the relationship of leverage growth in emerging market (EM) firms to U.S. monetary conditions, and more broadly, to global financial conditions. We find that accommodative U.S. monetary conditions are reliably associated with faster EM leverage growth during the past decade. Specifically, a 1 percentage point decline in the U.S. policy rate corresponds to an appreciable increase in EM leverage growth of 9 basis points, on average (relative to the sample average leverage growth of 35 basis points per year). This impact is more pronounced for sectors dependent on external financing, for SMEs, and for firms in more financially open EMs with less flexible exchange rates. The findings suggest that global financial conditions affect EM firms’ leverage growth in part by influencing domestic interest rates and by relaxing corporate borrowing constraints.
Kiichi Tokuoka
Since the global financial crisis, corporate investment has been weak in India. Sluggish corporate investment would not only moderate growth from the demand side but also constrain growth from the supply side over time. Against this background, this paper analyzes the reasons for the slowdown and discusses how India can boost corporate investment, using both macro and firm-level micro data. Analysis of macro data indicates that macroeconomic factors can largely explain corporate investment but that they do not appear to account fully for recent weak performance, suggesting a key role of the business environment in reviving corporate investment. Analysis of micro panel data suggests that improving the business environment by reducing costs of doing business, improving financial access, and developing infrastructure, could stimulate corporate investment.
Germán Gutiérrez, Callum Jones, and Mr. Thomas Philippon
We combine a structural model with cross-sectional micro data to identify the causes and consequences of rising concentration in the US economy. Using asset prices and industry data, we estimate realized and anticipated shocks that drive entry and concentration. We validate our approach by showing that the model-implied entry shocks correlate with independently constructed measures of entry regulations and M&As. We conclude that entry costs have risen in the U.S. over the past 20 years and have depressed capital and consumption by about seven percent.
Meghana Ayyagari, Thorsten Beck, and Mr. Maria Soledad Martinez Peria
Combining balance sheet data on 900,000 firms from 48 countries with information on the adoption of macroprudential policies during 2003-2011, we find that these policies are associated with lower credit growth. These effects are especially significant for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and young firms that, according to the literature, are more financially constrained and bank dependent. Among MSMEs and young firms, those with weaker balance sheets exhibit lower credit growth in conjunction with the adoption of macroprudential policies, suggesting that these policies can enhance financial stability. Finally, our results show that macroprudential policies have real effects, as they are associated with lower investment and sales growth.