This Selected Issues paper on Korea provides background information on economic developments and policies, with particular emphasis on 1995–96. Following two years of rapid expansion, led by buoyant investment and exports, economic growth moderated in late 1995 and the first half of 1996. The moderation was in response to the earlier tightening of monetary conditions and less favorable short-term export prospects. The slowdown was reflected in a sharp deceleration in final domestic demand, whose contribution to growth fell from 9.1 percent in 1995 to 6.6 percent in the first half of 1996.
Mr. Guy M Meredith, Mr. Bankim Chadha, and Mr. Paul R Masson
This paper focuses on the output costs of disinflation. A model of inflation with both forward and backward elements seems to characterize reality. Such an inflation model is estimated using data for industrial countries, and the output costs of a disinflation path are calculated, first analytically in a simple theoretical model, then by simulation of a global, multi-region empirical model. The credibility of a preannounced path for money consistent with the lowest output loss is considered. An alternative, more credible policy may be to announce an exchange rate peg to a low inflation currency.
The paper evaluates whether a monetary aggregate can serve as a useful predictor of inflation, using recent developments in the principle of cointegrated variables. M2 but not M1 is cointegrated with relevant price, transactions, and rate of return variables. However, deviations of M2 from its long-run equilibrium value do not significantly enhance inflation forecasts based on conventional output-gap models, a result that stands in contrast to the Federal Reserve’s P* relationship. Nevertheless, changes in M2 do contain information about future inflation, consistent with the view that the demand for money reflects the forward-looking behavior of private agents.
Mr. Andrew Berg, Ms. Filiz D Unsal, and Mr. Rafael A Portillo
Many low-income countries continue to describe their monetary policy framework in terms of targets on monetary aggregates. This contrasts with most modern discussions of monetary policy, and with most practice. We extend the new-Keynesian model to provide a role for “M” in the conduct of monetary policy, and examine the conditions under which some adherence to money targets is optimal. In the spirit of Poole (1970), this role is based on the incompleteness of information available to the central bank, a pervasive issues in these countries. Ex-ante announcements/forecasts for money growth are consistent with a Taylor rule for the relevant short-term interest rate. Ex-post, the policy maker must choose his relative adherence to interest rate and money growth targets. Drawing on the method in Svensson and Woodford (2004), we show that the optimal adherence to ex-ante targets is equivalent to a signal extraction problem where the central bank uses the money market information to update its estimate of the state of the economy. We estimate the model, using Bayesian methods, for Tanzania, Uganda (both de jure money targeters), and Ghana (a de jure inflation targeter), and compare the de facto adherence to targets with the optimal use of money market information in each country.
This paper examines the distribution of output around capacity when money demand is a nonlinear function of the nominal interest rate such that nominal interest rates cannot become negative. When fluctuations in output result primarily from disturbances to the money market, the variance of output is shown to be an increasing function of the trend inflation rate. When they result from disturbances to the goods market, the variance of output is a decreasing function of the trend inflation rate. When both disturbances are significant, there exists, in general, a critical non-zero trend inflation rate that minimizes the variance of output.
Belarusian authorities contemplate transiting to inflation targeting. The paper suggests a small structural model at the core of the forecasting and policy analysis system. A well-researched canonical structure of Berg, A., Karam, P. and D. Laxton (2006) is extended to capture specifics of Belarusian economy and macroeconomic policy. The modified model’s policy block reflects a monetary targeting regime and allows for transition from it to an interest-rate-based framework. Adding wages, directed lending and dollarization allow for studying implications of activist wage policy, state program lending, and dollarization for macroeconomic stability and the strength of the policy transmission mechanism.
Money has only limited information value for future inflation in Ghana over a typical monetary policy implementation horizon (four to eight quarters). On the other hand, currency depreciation and demand pressures (as measured by the output gap) are shown to be important predictors of future price changes. Inflation inertia is high and inflation expectations are largely based on backward-looking information, suggesting that inflation expectations are not well anchored and hence more is needed to strengthen the credibility of Ghana's inflation-targeting regime.1
This paper explores the sources of inflation in Sub-Saharan Africa by examining the relationship between inflation, the output gap, and the real money gap. Using heterogeneous panel cointegration estimation techniques, we estimate cointegrating vectors for the production function and the real money demand function to recover the structural output and money gaps for seventeen African countries. The central finding is that both gaps contain significant information regarding the evolution of inflation, albeit with a larger role played by the money gap. There is no significant evidence of asymmetry in the relationship.
This paper analyzes the efforts taken to create fiscal space for the implementation of the fifth national development plan and the risk associated with it, examines the role of monetary policy in determining inflation, and discusses policy options to achieve low inflation. It also identifies areas where reform strategy needs more attention and suggests that reforms of financial system regulation need to be accelerated to ensure stability of the system. It analyzes traditional reserve adequacy measures, and finds looming power crisis as an obstacle to growth.