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SHARMINI COOREY, MAURO MECAGNI, and ERIK OFFERDAL

Many transition economies have been unable to reduce inflation to low levels on a sustained basis. Monetary growth has been a dominant factor. Relative price adjustment and nominal wage shocks are also partly to blame, but their impact on inflation can be modified by monetary and exchange rate policy.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Uruguay’s inflation and inflation expectations exceed the inflation target, and the gap has been widening in recent years. To help bring it to the mid-point of the target, Banco Central del Uruguay (BCU) needs to maintain a tightening bias in addition to strengthening its communication. This paper examined the factors behind the composition of FDI flows to Uruguay and suggested that strong institutions and macroeconomic stability have helped attract FDI to the secondary and tertiary sectors. Flexibility of the labor market, financial deepening, and the quality of infrastructure can further this improvement.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on the Arab Republic of Egypt examines the dynamic relationship between the nominal exchange rate and prices during Egypt’s exit from a managed exchange rate regime. The exit from the peg went through several phases, including a series of step devaluations between 2000 and 2002, a first attempt at a float in January 2003, and the successful transition to a unified, flexible exchange rate system in late-2004. From 2000 to 2004, the Egyptian pound experienced a cumulative depreciation of 68 percent against the U.S. dollar.
International Monetary Fund
The analysis of inflation developments in Belarus is hampered by widespread price controls. Persistence of common inflation is generally higher than that of actual inflation. Factor analysis assumes that covariation among time series can be explained by a few unobserved shocks (factors). The dependent variable in our estimations is growth in real GDP per capita in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms, while the explanatory variable of interest is the annual rate of change in the terms of trade.
Mr. Scott Roger and Mr. Mark R. Stone
This paper examines the international experience with full-fledged inflation targeting monetary regimes. Stylized facts are brought together from a review of the institutional elements of inflation targeting frameworks, a comparison of actual and targeted inflation outcomes, and case studies of large inflation target misses. Inflation targets are missed about 40 percent of the time and often by substantial amounts and for prolonged periods, yet no country has dropped inflation targeting. The resilience of the inflation targeting regime is attributable to the flexibility of the framework, its high standards of transparency and accountability, and the lack of realistic alternatives.
Mr. Leo Bonato and Mr. Andreas Billmeier
Exchange rate targeting is considered the best policy option in dollarized economies when wages and prices are indexed to the exchange rate. Croatia is a highly dollarized economy, but empirical investigation conducted in this paper shows that exchange rate pass-through has been low after stabilization. This finding, which is robust to different methodologies (VAR, cointegration), would suggest that dollarization is mostly limited to financial assets and therefore that strict exchange rate targeting may not necessarily be the best option. However, policy implications are unclear due to the endogeneity of the pass-through to the policy regime.
Mr. Shaun K. Roache
Inflation persistence is sometimes defined as the tendency for price shocks to push the inflation rate away from its steady state—including an inflation target—for a prolonged period. Persistence is important because it affects the output costs of lowering inflation back to the target, often described as the “sacrifice ratio”. In this paper I use inflation expectations to provide a comparison of inflation persistence in Brazil with a sample of inflation targeting (IT) countries. This approach suggests that inflation persistence increased in Brazil through early 2013, in contrast to many of its IT peers, mainly due to “upward” persistence. The 2013 rate hiking cycle may have contributed to some recent decline in persistence.
Ms. Paula De Masi and Mr. Vincent Koen
The overall price level increased sharply in transition countries once prices were freed. Disinflation has most frequently been gradual, with prices continuing to rise rapidly in subsequent years. This paper identifies the well-known and lesser-known features of inflationary processes in central and eastern Europe, the Baltics, Russia, and other countries of the former Soviet Union on the basis of a sample of 26 countries and observations spanning the first five to seven years of transition.
International Monetary Fund
This paper reviews the current monetary and exchange rate policy frameworks in Armenia and Georgia, and the challenges associated with the choice of a credible nominal anchor in the context of large nominal and real shocks. The paper makes a case for a gradual transition to full-fledged inflation targeting (FFIT) in both countries in the medium term. The implications of this option are examined from various angles. In particular, the monetary transmission mechanisms and compliance with major institutional prerequisites for successful FFIT adoption are analyzed. Based on this analysis, the paper identifies a series of short- and medium-term recommendations, drawing on the experience of emerging market countries that successfully moved to FFIT.