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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The IMF Executive Board announced on August 3 that it had completed the ninth review of Turkey’s economic program supported by the three-year Stand-By Arrangement. The Board’s decision will enable Turkey to draw SDR 1.2 billion (about $1.5 billion) immediately from the IMF. The text of News Brief No. 01/73, as well as a statement issued on July 28 by IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer (see page 262) is available on the IMF’s website (www.imf.org).
Gail Cohen, João Tovar Jalles, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Ricardo Marto
For the world's 20 largest emitters, we use a simple trend/cycle decomposition to provide evidence of decoupling between greenhouse gas emissions and output in richer nations, particularly in European countries, but not yet in emerging markets. If consumption-based emissions—measures that account for countries' net emissions embodied in cross-border trade—are used, the evidence for decoupling in the richer economies gets weaker. Countries with underlying policy frameworks more supportive of renewable energy and climate change mitigation efforts tend to show greater decoupling between trend emissions and trend GDP, and for both production- and consumption-based emissions. The relationship between trend emissions and trend GDP has also become much weaker in the last two decades than in preceding decades.
Tahsin Saadi Sedik and Mr. Serhan Cevik
This paper investigates the causes of extreme fluctuations in commodity prices from 1990 to 2010. Analyzing two very distinct commodities-crude oil and fine wine, we find that macroeconomic factors are the main determinants of commodity prices. Although supply constraints have the expected effect, aggregate demand growth is the key factor. The empirical results show that while advanced economies account for more than half of global consumption, emerging economies make up the bulk of the incremental change in demand, thereby having a greater weight in commodity price formation. The results also show that the shift in the composition of aggregate commodity demand is a recent phenomenon.
Nidhaleddine Ben Cheikh, Mr. Sami Ben Naceur, Mr. Oussama Kanaan, and Christophe Rault
Our paper examines the effect of oil price changes on Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) stock markets using nonlinear smooth transition regression (STR) models. Contrary to conventional wisdom, our empirical results reveal that GCC stock markets do not have similar sensitivities to oil price changes. We document the presence of stock market returns’ asymmetric reactions in some GCC countries, but not for others. In Kuwait’s case, negative oil price changes exert larger impacts on stock returns than positive oil price changes. When considering the asymmetry with respect to the magnitude of oil price variation, we find that Oman’s and Qatar’s stock markets are more sensitive to large oil price changes than to small ones. Our results highlight the importance of economic stabilization and reform policies that can potentially reduce the sensitivity of stock returns to oil price changes, especially with regard to the existence of asymmetric behavior.
Samya Beidas-Strom and Mr. Andrea Pescatori
How much does speculation contribute to oil price volatility? We revisit this contentious question by estimating a sign-restricted structural vector autoregression (SVAR). First, using a simple storage model, we show that revisions to expectations regarding oil market fundamentals and the effect of mispricing in oil derivative markets can be observationally equivalent in a SVAR model of the world oil market à la Kilian and Murphy (2013), since both imply a positive co-movement of oil prices and inventories. Second, we impose additional restrictions on the set of admissible models embodying the assumption that the impact from noise trading shocks in oil derivative markets is temporary. Our additional restrictions effectively put a bound on the contribution of speculation to short-term oil price volatility (lying between 3 and 22 percent). This estimated short-run impact is smaller than that of flow demand shocks but possibly larger than that of flow supply shocks.
International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper and Statistical Appendix analyzes economic developments in Lithuania during 1996–99. The paper discusses macroeconomic developments and policies in detail. It discusses the importance of fiscal prudence in maintaining sustainable fiscal and external positions over the medium term, and emphasizes that reining in budgetary spending will be a key challenge in the period ahead. The paper reviews external competitiveness and concludes that Lithuania’s competitiveness has remained adequate through early 1999, although there remains little room for further real appreciation and wage rises that are not related to productivity increases.