This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix on Brazil looks at price developments following the floating of the Real in mid-January 1999. The paper highlights that the experiences in East Asia—Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand—all show that the pass-through from devaluation to inflation has been lower than expected, with the exception of Indonesia. The paper analyzes the competitiveness and export performance of Brazil. Effects of high interest rates and currency depreciation on Brazilian enterprises are also analyzed.
Pursuant to the Treaty of Maastricht, members of the European Union (EU) intend to participate in the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), in part through convergence toward specified limits on the overall deficit and gross debt of general government. The paper argues that in several EU members, the financial imbalance of social security institutions may constitute an impediment to meeting these requirements. Given a constraint on further payroll tax increases, most countries will need to undertake major reform of public pension and health-care systems, to ensure adherence to the EMU fiscal criteria in the medium to long run.
Sophia Chen, Ms. Deniz O Igan, Mr. Nicola Pierri, and Mr. Andrea F Presbitero
We use high-frequency indicators to analyze the economic impact of COVID-19 in Europe and the United States during the early phase of the pandemic. We document that European countries and U.S. states that experienced larger outbreaks also suffered larger economic losses. We also find that the heterogeneous impact of COVID-19 is mostly captured by observed changes in people’s mobility, while, so far, there is no robust evidence supporting additional impact from the adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions. The deterioration of economic conditions preceded the introduction of these policies and a gradual recovery also started before formal reopening, highlighting the importance of voluntary social distancing, communication, and trust-building measures.