This report describes recent economic developments in Kiribati. Developments over the decade through 1992 were characterized by a fall in real per capita income, as economic development was constrained by a shortage of skilled manpower, weak infrastructure, and remoteness from major international markets. However, inflation was held broadly in line with price increases in major trading partners. The overall external balance was in large surplus, as substantial trade deficits in part reflecting small export earnings were more than offset by service account surpluses and external grant receipts.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on recent developments with Kiribati’s Revenue Equalization Reserve Fund (RERF). The paper also examines fiscal aspects of climate change, and considers options for improving fishing license fees, which remain an important source of revenue. It also analyzes recent developments and the outlook for remittances to Kiribati, which is another important source of external revenue and brings important economic benefits, such as reducing poverty and stabilizing national income.
Spain has experienced income convergence consistently in the past decade, despite gradual losses in competitiveness. The empirical evidence indicates that overall EU enlargement offers a range of opportunities for Spain, points to potential pressures in specific sectors, and offers challenges, and tackling the challenges requires a flexible economy. The pattern of Spanish exports is dominated by its off-center location in the Southern part of the EU. Geographical location also plays a central role in determining the origin of foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Spain.
Forecasting models for output are presented to throw light on monetary transmission. Recent research finds multistep forecasting superior to recursive forecasting from a VAR model when structural breaks are present; there are important political and policy regime breaks in South Africa. The equilibrium correction models have a four–quarter ahead forecast horizon, appropriate for measuring interest rate effects. A stochastic trend measures underlying shifts in productivity and other supply side trends. The inclusion of important monetary policy regime shifts, which altered the output response to interest rates, and the control for other structural changes (e.g., trade liberalization), address the Lucas critique in forecasting output growth. There are important and persistent effects of high real interest rates, which significantly constrained growth in the 1990s, and significant potential growth benefits from fiscal discipline. South African growth appears to have become more responsive to the exchange rate with increasing trade openness in the 1990s.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes performance of the Vietnamese economy during the 1990s. It reviews recent monetary and banking developments, and provides an assessment of the main problems in the banking sector. The paper highlights that during the late 1990s, Vietnam’s banking sector came under mounting pressure from the slowdown in growth and the weakening financial position of state-owned enterprises. In addition, problems emerged from banks’ large foreign exchange exposure, accumulation of nonperforming loans, weak capital base, and low profitability.