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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes growth performance and constraints for Honduras’ economy. The findings indicate that Honduras’ low growth rates in real per capita GDP reflect the influence of a combination of factors. Policy- and efficiency-related variables, exogenous shocks, and political uncertainty seem to have had less of a negative influence on growth in Honduras than they have had on the comparator groups. Instead, low growth appears to be closely related to the low productivity of labor and capital, and the poor composition of investment and inadequate physical infrastructure.

Kristin Magnussen
Countries’ absolute and relative international reserves adequacy has recently attracted considerable attention. The analysis has however concentrated on the largest and most advanced economies. We apply various methodologies for assessing reserve adequacy in Central America, taking into account the region’s high degree of deposit dollarization. We find that reserve cover is low both in an absolute and relative sense, suggesting further reserve accumulation is an important policy option for reducing vulnerabilities.
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.
Mr. Paolo Mauro and Yishay Yafeh
This paper analyzes the Corporation of Foreign Bondholders (CFB), an association of British investors holding bonds issued by foreign governments. The CFB played a key role during the heyday of international bond finance, 1870-1913, and in the aftermath of the defaults of the 1930s. It fostered coordination among creditors, especially in cases of default, arranging successfully for many important debt restructurings, though failing persistently in a few cases. While a revamped creditor association might once again help facilitate creditor coordination, the relative appeal of defection over coordination is greater today than it was in the past. The CFB may have had an easier time than any comparable body would have today.
International Monetary Fund
This report examines macroeconomic developments and related vulnerabilities in low-income developing countries (LIDCs)—a group of 60 countries that have markedly different economic features to higher income countries and are eligible for concessional financing from both the IMF and the World Bank. Collectively, they account for about one-fifth of the world’s Population.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper analyzes the effect of rapid inflation on a country’s international position. The paper highlights that when prices and costs in any country rise rapidly, goods produced in the country soon become more expensive than similar goods produced abroad. Unless the exchange rate changes, this encourages imports and discourages exports. As prices in a country rise more rapidly than in the rest of the world, individuals in that country tend to turn from buying these increasingly expensive products of their own industries to the relatively cheaper foreign goods.