Mr. Yiqun Wu, Ms. Patrizia Tumbarello, and Niamh Sheridan
Regional integration of Pacific Island countries (PICs) with Australia, New Zealand, and emerging Asia has increased over the last two decades. PICs have become more exposed to the region’s business cycles, and spillovers from regional economies are more important for PICs than from advanced economies outside the region. While strong linkages with Asia would help in the event of a global downturn, PICs remain particularly vulnerable to global commodity price shocks. In this paper, we use a Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) for each PIC to gauge the impact of global and regional growth spillovers. The analysis reveals that the impact on PICs’ growth from an adverse oil shock would be substantial, and in some cases even larger than from a negative global demand shock. We also assess the spillovers to the financial sector from the deterioration of the global outlook. PICs should continue to rebuild policy buffers and implement growth-oriented structural reforms to ensure sustained and inclusive growth.
Julia Bersch, Mr. Steven A Barnett, and Mr. Yasuhisa Ojima
Inflation in Mongolia resembles a roller coaster ride with sharp rises and steep drops. Understanding why is critical for formulating and assessing monetary policy. Food prices are found to be a key driver of inflation, and, not surprising given Mongolia’s geography, are determined primarily by local supply conditions, highly seasonal, and subject to large but short-lived shocks (usually weather related). Nonetheless, demand factors are also found to be significant in explaining price movements and empirical evidence suggests that a 10 percent increase in government wages, for example, would push up underlying inflation by 1 percentage point. So, while inflation will remain volatile due to agricultural shocks, there is space for macroeconomic stabilization policy to help reduce inflation volatility.
This paper examines the impact of trade costs on real exchange rate volatility. The channel is examined by constructing a two-country Ricardian model of trade, based on the work of Dornbusch, Fischer, and Samuelson (1977), which shows that higher trade costs result in a larger nontradable sector. This, in turn, leads to higher real exchange rate volatility. We provide empirical evidence supporting the channel.
Mr. Olumuyiwa S Adedeji, Mr. Calixte Ahokpossi, Claudio Battiati, and Mrs. Mai Farid
What constitutes fiscal space or a prudent level of debt to conduct countercyclical policy
while ensuring debt sustainability? This paper addresses the question by exploring the
relationship between debt dynamics, and the probabilistic distribution of the primary
balance and the effective interest rate. This proposed approach is useful in situations
where the lack of relevant data makes it difficult to estimate detailed fiscal reaction
functions. Applying this approach to Low-Income Developing Countries (LIDCs) and
based on various debt ceiling assumptions, we find that about 60 percent of these
countries presently have fiscal policy space to address adverse shocks, subject to the
availability of domestic and external financing. Countries with strong institutional
capacity tend to have more fiscal space, and count