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Guillermo Javier Vuletin
This paper estimates the size of the informal economy for 32 mainly Latin American and Caribbean countries in the early 2000s. Using a structural equation modeling approach, we find that a stringent tax system and regulatory environment, higher inflation, and dominance of the agriculture sector are key factors in determining the size of the informal economy. The results also confirm that a higher degree of informality reduces labor unionization, the number of contributors to social security schemes, and enrollment rates in education.
Mr. Mauricio Vargas
Paraguay’s economy features a high degree of informality. Based on different estimation approaches, informal activity represents more than half of total employment in Paraguay, a higher rate than those observed in its Latin American and the Caribbean peers. Theoretical and empirical considerations support the notion that regulations, enforcement policies, and government effectiveness are the ultimate determinants of informality. In all of these areas Paraguay performs weakly compared to regional peers. Using household and enterprise surveys, we find that Paraguay’s informal sector absorbs the most vulnerable workers but affects negatively medium and large firms in the formal sector. DSGE model simulations suggest that the optimal combination of policies to reduce informality is not straightforward, and needs to reflect the specific circumstances and objectives of the country.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened. Real GDP is projected to contract by 8.1 percent in 2020, followed by a mild recovery in 2021 reflecting persistent spread of the virus and associated social distancing and scarring. Risks to the outlook remain tilted to the downside, and uncertainty about the pandemic’s evolution is a key source of risk. Containing the spread of the virus and addressing the health crisis remain the key policy priorities. In countries where lockdowns still hamper activity, policies should focus on ensuring that firms have sufficient liquidity, and on protecting employment and income, while developing medium-term fiscal consolidation plans to safeguard debt sustainability. In countries that are easing lockdowns, efforts should focus on supporting the recovery, including through structural reforms. Once the pandemic is under control, and the recovery is on a strong footing, fiscal policy will need to focus on rebuilding buffers. Monetary policy should remain accommodative as long as inflation stays within the target range and inflation expectations are well anchored.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened. Real GDP is projected to contract by 8.1 percent in 2020, followed by a mild recovery in 2021 reflecting persistent spread of the virus and associated social distancing and scarring. Risks to the outlook remain tilted to the downside, and uncertainty about the pandemic’s evolution is a key source of risk. Containing the spread of the virus and addressing the health crisis remain the key policy priorities. In countries where lockdowns still hamper activity, policies should focus on ensuring that firms have sufficient liquidity, and on protecting employment and income, while developing medium-term fiscal consolidation plans to safeguard debt sustainability. In countries that are easing lockdowns, efforts should focus on supporting the recovery, including through structural reforms. Once the pandemic is under control, and the recovery is on a strong footing, fiscal policy will need to focus on rebuilding buffers. Monetary policy should remain accommodative as long as inflation stays within the target range and inflation expectations are well anchored.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the background, stages and developments, and estimation of the direct costs of Paraguay's banking crisis. The paper provides the estimates on the size and evolution of the informal sector, and examines the extent to which the national accounts capture informal activity. The study also estimates the potential output and total factor productivity by examining trends in output, investment, and population growth as well as the direction and size of fiscal impulse on its economy. The paper also provides a statistical appendix report of Paraguay.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the spillover effects of key external shocks on Paraguay. It presents an overview of Paraguay’s major economic and financial linkages with the rest world, and quantifies the spillover effects of key external factors on the Paraguayan economy, using a vector autoregression approach. The empirical results suggest that global shocks have a significant impact on Paraguay’s growth rate. The paper also highlights that output and exchange rate shocks stemming from Brazil and Argentina are also important, even after controlling for global factors.

International Monetary Fund

Paraguay weathered the global economic crisis well, supported by an appropriate policy response. The strong rebound of economic growth has given rise to overheating pressures. Policies need to adjust further to ensure a soft landing of the economy. The banking system remains sound, but there is a need to guard it against emerging risks. The monetary policy framework should be strengthened further to support the move to an inflation-targeting (IT) regime. Higher tax revenues are needed to address important deficiencies in infrastructure and basic social services.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights that robust growth in Paraguay has been accompanied by declining inflation, particularly since 2011 when the central bank adopted inflation targeting. Despite the acceleration in growth in the 2000s, poverty and inequality in Paraguay remain among the highest in the region. Activity rebounded to an estimated 13 percent in 2013. The outlook for 2014 is positive. Growth should be strong at 4.8 percent, underpinned by continued dynamism in the agricultural sector and rising infrastructure investment. Annual inflation will likely increase to the central bank’s target rate of 5 percent.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that economic activity in Paraguay has slowed from record-high growth in 2013, but remains buoyant. Construction, manufacturing, and services led the expansion in 2014, whereas electricity production declined, and re-exports suffered from weak growth in Brazil. Full-year growth is estimated to have slightly exceeded 4 percent. Real GDP is projected to remain close to 4 percent in 2015. Weak trading partner growth and lower export prices cloud the outlook, and agricultural production is projected to rise only marginally above the high level of 2014.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The pandemic continues to spread in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but economic activity is picking up. After a deep contraction in April, activity started recovering in May, as lockdowns were gradually eased, consumers and firms adapted to social distancing, some countries introduced sizable policy support, and global activity strengthened.