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Ara Stepanyan, Agustin Roitman, Gohar Minasyan, Ms. Dragana Ostojic, and Mr. Natan P. Epstein
In the face of sharply lower oil prices and geopolitical tensions and sanctions, economic activity in Russia decelerated in late 2014, resulting in negative spillovers on Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and, to a lesser extent, on Baltic countries. The spillovers to eastern Europe have been limited. The degree of impact is commensurate with the level of these countries’ trade, remittances, and foreign direct investment (FDI) links with Russia. So far, policy action by the affected countries has focused on mitigating the immediate consequences of spillovers.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Raphael A Espinoza, and Mrs. Sarwat Jahan
This paper documents the expanding economic linkages between low-income countries (LICs) and a narrow group of "Emerging Market leaders" that have become major players in regional and global trade and financial flows. VAR models show that these linkages have increased the share of growth volatility that can be attributed to foreign shocks in LICs. Dynamic panel models further analyze the impact of LIC trade orientation and production structure on the sensitivity to foreign shocks. The empirical results demonstrate that the elasticity of growth to trading partners' growth is high for LICs in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia. However, for commodity-exporting LICs in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, terms of trade shocks and demand from the emerging market leaders are the main channels of transmission of foreign shocks.
International Monetary Fund
This paper uses VAR models to examine the magnitude and sources of growth spillovers to the Baltics from key trading partners, as well asfrom the real effective exchange rate (REER). Our results show there are significant cross-country spillovers to the Baltics with those from the EU outweighing spillovers from Russia. Shocks to the REER generally depress growth in the Baltics, and this intensifies over time. We also find that financial and trade channels dominate the transmission of spillovers to the region which partly explains the realization of downside risks to the Baltics from the global slowdown.
Knarik Ayvazyan and Ms. Teresa Daban Sanchez
Using a structural vector auto-regression (SVAR) model, this paper examines the size, geographical sources, and transmission channels of global and regional shocks to the Armenian economy. Results show that Armenian economic activity is strongly influenced by global demand shocks and changes in oil prices, yet relatively immune to financial volatility. Transmission takes place through the Russian and EU economies, remittances, and external borrowing. The role of exports and tourism is low. Russia is key in transforming the potentially negative impact of an increase in oil prices into a positive event, through stronger remittances and exports. Services and construction, which depend significantly on remittances and external borrowing, are the most affected by global and regional shocks.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews the status of financing for the Fund’s concessional lending and debt relief activities for low-income countries (LICs). It is based on the latest available data and projections, and it takes into account the commitments made so far in response to the Managing Director’s fund-raising request of August 2009. The paper is organized as follows. Section II summarizes: (i) the comprehensive reforms of the Fund’s concessional lending instruments and the associated financing framework that have become effective since the last review; and (ii) the measures that the Board recently endorsed to facilitate the needed mobilization of loan resources. Section III on the financing of PRGT operations begins by reviewing the projected financing needs established in July 2009 in light of recent commitments under the PRGT, and then considers the status of loan and subsidy resources, before discussing developments in the PRGT Reserve Account. Sections IV and V provide updates on the subsidization of emergency assistance and the financing of debt relief under the HIPC and MDRI.
International Monetary Fund
This note provides guidance to staff on the conduct of surveillance in the context of Article IV consultations, a core activity of the Fund. Surveillance involves the continuous monitoring of members‘ economic and financial policies and their impact on their own and global stability. During Article IV consultations, staff holds pointed discussions with country authorities on the economic situation, the authorities‘ policies and how these affect the country‘s stability, the role of potential or actual spillovers where relevant, and desirable policy adjustments. These discussions are then reported to the Fund‘s Executive Board for its consideration. The goal, through thorough analysis, candid discussions, and a peer-review mechanism, is to promote the stability of members‘ economies, as well as the effective operation of the international monetary system, including through maintaining global stability.
International Monetary Fund
Global spillovers have entered a new phase. With crisis-related spillovers and risks fading, changing growth patterns are the main source of spillovers in the global economy at this juncture. Two key trends are highly relevant here. First, signs of self-sustaining recovery in some advanced economies indicate that the unwinding of exceptional monetary accommodation will proceed and lead to a tightening of global financial conditions in the coming years. An uneven recovery, though, suggests normalization will proceed at different times in different countries, with possible spillover implications. Second, growth in emerging markets is slowing on a broad basis since its precrisis peak and can carry noticeable spillover effects at the global level. Model code and programs used for the spillover simulations can be made available. Data used for the empirical analysis can be made available unless restricted by copyright or confidentiality issues.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Fund surveillance needs to evolve to face the economic and financial challenges that will shape the global landscape for years to come. This paper first takes stock of the current economic and financial landscape. To better serve the membership in this context, Fund surveillance should be prioritized around four key priorities: (i) confronting risks and uncertainties: policymakers will need to actively manage the risks of a highly uncertain outlook; (ii) preempting and mitigating adverse spillovers: shifting patterns of global economic integration will bring about new channels for contagion and policy spillovers; (iii) fostering economic sustainability: a broader understanding of sustainability to better account for the impact of economic and non-economic developments on stability; and (iv) unified policy advice: better accounting for the trade-offs and synergies among different policy combinations in the face of limited policy space and overlapping priorities, tailored to country-specific circumstances. These priorities should further enhance the traction of Fund surveillance.
Nienke Oomes (EUR), Anna Ilyina (ICM), Peter Lohmus (MFD), Mwanza Nkusu (PDR), and Antonio Spilimbergo (FAD)

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the entrenched inflation in Russia. It presents a possible explanation for the entrenched inflation stating that the Russian economy is facing increasing supply-side constraints in goods and labor markets. The paper focuses on measuring the performance of fiscal policy in Russia. It examines capital structures and vulnerabilities for the corporate sector in Russia. Recent developments and remaining challenges for the Russian banking sector are analyzed. Terms of trade and economic growth in the Former Soviet Union are also discussed.