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International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper analyzes the income dispersion and comovement in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union region. It finds that incomes are diverging, with the Leeward Islands converging to a higher income level than the Windward Islands. The paper examines the macroeconomic impact of trade preference erosion on the Windward Islands and demonstrates the substantial impact from preference erosion on growth, trade balances, and fiscal positions. The paper also analyzes the size of the informal economy in the Caribbean.

Abdulrahman K Al-Mansouri and Ms. Claudia H Dziobek
The six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates (UAE)-have laid out a path to a common market by 2007 and monetary union by 2010, based on economic convergence. To monitor convergence and support economic and monetary policy, comparable economic data for member countries and data for the region as a whole will be essential. What is the most efficient way to produce these data? The authors survey the statistical institutions in the GCC countries and present the case for creating "Gulfstat"-a regional statistical agency to operate within a "Gulf States System of Statistics." Valuable lessons can be learned from regional statistical organization in Africa and the European Union-Afristat and Eurostat.
International Monetary Fund
This supplement provides clarifications and proposes revision to the reforms of the nonconcessional lending toolkit contained in the staff papers on “The Fund’s Mandate—Future Financing Role: Reform Proposals”. The focus of this supplement is on the Flexible Credit Line (FCL) and the Precautionary Credit Line (PCL), for which revised proposed decisions are attached.
International Monetary Fund
This paper provides the basis for the quinquennial review of the method of valuation of the Special Drawing Right (SDR). The review considers the composition, size, and weighting of the SDR currency basket and the financial instruments used to determine the SDR interest rate. The analysis in this paper is guided by the informal discussion of Executive Directors in July on initial considerations for the review. In light of Directors’ preference, the two currency selection criteria for SDR inclusion are maintained. Since China continues to meet the export criterion, a key focus of this paper is on assessing whether the renminbi (RMB) could be determined to be a freely usable currency, which is the second criterion. The paper documents the rising international use and trading of the RMB since the 2010 SDR valuation review. A range of indicators suggests that use of the RMB in international transactions has risen substantially, albeit from a low base. The paper also finds that the RMB has become far more actively traded in foreign exchange markets, with sufficient depth to support operations of the size Fund members might undertake without an appreciable change in the exchange rate. Full Text also available in Chinese.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates—have laid out a path to a common market by 2007 and monetary union by 2010. To monitor this convergence process and support economic and monetary policy, the member countries must be able to provide comparable economic data. What is the most efficient way to produce these data? A new IMF Working Paper surveys the statistical institutions in the GCC countries and presents the case for creating “Gulfstat”—a regional statistical agency. Such an agency could draw valuable lessons from regional statistical organizations in Africa and the European Union (EU).

International Monetary Fund

This 2003 Article IV Consultation states that Belarus made noticeable progress in some areas of economic reform over the past several years, but overall macroeconomic performance in 2002 was mixed. Inflation in 2002 was the lowest since Belarus became independent, yet it remains the highest in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Under current policies, the outlook for 2003 is broadly similar to the outcome for 2002. Inflation is expected at about 27 percent, and real GDP growth is likely to slow modestly to about 4 percent.