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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper examines the causes of recent inflation in Ethiopia and discusses possible policy responses. Inflation in Ethiopia has reached a historical peak. Following a drought-related surge of food prices in 2003, it receded to single digits but soon turned back up in 2004 and gradually increased. The paper provides an overview of recent inflation developments, and explores the factors contributing to recent inflation, based on fresh studies and the review of current monetary and external developments. The paper also lays out cross-country analysis with countries experiencing high inflation.

Shlomo Reutlinger

This paper elaborates the introduction of surveillance that gave the IMF broader responsibilities with respect to oversight of its members’ policies than existed under the par value system. The IMF’s purview has been broadened under the new system but, by the same token, its members are no longer obliged to seek its concurrence in changes in exchange rates. The continuing volatility of exchange rates, and their prolonged divergence from levels that appear to be sustainable over time, have been matters of growing concern.

LANT PRITCHETT

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International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) Statistics Department (STA) provided technical assistance (TA) on financial soundness indicators (FSI) to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) during June 15-July 10, 2020. The TA mission took place in response to a request from the authorities, with the support of the IMF’s African Department (AFR). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and travel restrictions, the mission was conducted remotely via video conferences. The mission worked with the staff of the NBE on the development of FSIs that are in line with the IMF’s 2019 FSI Guide.1 The main objectives of the mission were to: (i) review the source data, institutional coverage, and accounting and regulatory frameworks supporting the compilation of FSIs; (ii) provide guidance for mapping source data for the banking sector to the FSI reporting templates FS2 and FSD as well as preparing the metadata; and (iii) agree with the authorities on the timeline to begin regular reporting of the FSIs for deposit-takers to STA. The mission also provided technical assistance to the NBE on the compilation of net open positions in foreign currencies.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper reviews the evolution of inequality in Ethiopia and discusses the role of various macroeconomic policies as well as structural factors. With a Gini coefficient of 30, Ethiopia remains among the most egalitarian countries in the world. The most vulnerable households seem to experience less benefit from growth than those in the higher income deciles. In terms of tax revenue collection, Ethiopia faces the typical challenges of a developing country. It is required that Ethiopia builds on its successful experience with the Productive Safety Net Program to address the growing needs of the urban poor.
Mr. Markus Haacker and Mr. N. F. R. Crafts
The paper evaluates the impact of HIV/AIDS on welfare in several countries affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Unlike studies focusing on the impact of HIV/AIDS on GDP per capita, we evaluate the impact of increased mortality using estimates of the value of statistical life. Our results illustrate the catastrophic impact of HIV/AIDS in the worst-affected countries and suggest that studies focusing on GDP and income per capita capture only a very small proportion of the welfare impact of HIV/AIDS.
Amine Hammadi, Marshall Mills, Nelson Sobrinho, Mr. Vimal V Thakoor, and Ricardo Velloso
Countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) tend to lag those in most other regions in terms of governance and perceptions of corruption. Weak governance undermines economic performance through various channels, including deficiencies in government functions and distortions to economic incentives. It thus stands to reason that SSA countries could strengthen their economic performance by improving governance and reducing corruption. This paper estimates that strengthening governance and mitigating corruption in the region could be associated with large growth dividends in the long run. While the process would take considerable time and effort, moving the average SSA country governance level to the global average could increase the region’s GDP per capita growth by about 1-2 percentage points.
Mr. Helaway Tadesse and Mr. Günther Taube
Considering the need to broaden the tax base and to increase tax revenue in an efficient, equitable, and cost-effective manner, this paper analyzes presumptive taxation methods and their application in sub-Saharan Africa. Presumptive taxation involves simple techniques to capture income that frequently escapes conventional taxation. Presumptive taxation methods could be used more intensively in sub-Saharan Africa, and presumptive taxes on imports, withholding schemes, and graduated business license fees are most effective in raising additional tax revenue in a way commensurate with efficiency, equity, and administrative expediency. Also, intensified presumptive taxation will need stronger institutional capacity in tax administration.