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International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept., International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, &, Review Department, and International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper reviews the Fund’s policy on multiple currency practices (MCPs). There remain strong economic and legal reasons to retain a policy on MCPs. The over-arching aim of the review is to make the policy and its application more effective. Based on this review, the paper proposes initial considerations for reforming features of the policy that have created challenges. • Clarifying the concept of “official action” to focus on measures that segment FX markets. • Eliminating potentiality. • Updating the threshold for permissible FX spreads. • Adjusting approval policies. • Reviewing links with capital transactions. • Considering merits of a remedial framework.
Ms. Valerie Cerra
This paper presents a stylized general equilibrium model of the Venezuelan economy. The model explains how the recent sharp fall in oil revenue combines with foreign exchange rationing to produce a steep rise in inflation. Counterintuitively, a devaluation of the official exchange rate could temporarily reduce inflation. The model also explains how the hyper-depreciation of the black market exchange rate reflects prices in the most distorted goods markets.
Ms. Naomi N Griffin
The appreciation of the real exchange rate over the past several years is considered one of the key drivers behind the weak performance of Colombia’s manufacturing sector in recent years. This paper examines the effects of the real exchange rate, external and domestic demand, and structural changes on firms’ profitability in Colombia’s manufacturing sector between 2000 and 2012. While export intensive companies have suffered lower profit growth with real exchange rate appreciation,we find no strong evidence that real appreciation has, on average, negatively affected the profitability of manufacturing firms; on the contrary, we find that real appreciation may have increased firms’ profitability by reducing the cost of imported inputs as Colombian manufacturing firms become more domestically oriented. At the same time, some structural changes (related to trade disruption with Venezuela and increased trade competition from China) seem to partially explain the weakness of the manufacturing sector since 2008.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

This Selected Issues paper analyzes spillover risks for Colombia. It highlights that external shocks could spill over to the Colombian economy through the country’s important and growing trade and financial linkages with the rest of the world. Colombia would be most exposed to a decline in oil prices, which could have a sizable adverse impact on the balance of payments, the fiscal accounts and growth. Growth shocks in key trading partners could also have a negative impact, particularly in the United States, which is Colombia’s main trading partner. Colombia’s fiscal rule and adjustment in the context of resource wealth is also analyzed.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes spillover risks for Colombia. It highlights that external shocks could spill over to the Colombian economy through the country’s important and growing trade and financial linkages with the rest of the world. Colombia would be most exposed to a decline in oil prices, which could have a sizable adverse impact on the balance of payments, the fiscal accounts and growth. Growth shocks in key trading partners could also have a negative impact, particularly in the United States, which is Colombia’s main trading partner. Colombia’s fiscal rule and adjustment in the context of resource wealth is also analyzed.
Goohoon Kwon, Lavern Mcfarlane, and Wayne Robinson

This paper provides comprehensive empirical evidence that supports the predictions of Sargent and Wallace’s “unpleasant monetarist arithmetic” that an increase in public debt is typically inflationary in countries with large public debt. Drawing on an extensive panel data set, we find that the relationship holds strongly in indebted developing countries, weakly in other developing countries, and generally does not hold in developed economies. These results are robust to the inclusion of other variables, corrections for endogeneity biases, relaxation of common-slope restrictions, and are invariant over subsample periods. We estimate a vector autoregression to trace out the transmission channel and find the impulse responses consistent with the predictions of a forward-looking model of inflation. Wealth effects of public debt could also affect inflation, as posited by the fiscal theory of the price level, but we do not find supportive evidence. The results suggest that the risk of a debt-inflation trap is significant in highly indebted countries and pure money-based stabilization is unlikely to be effective over the medium term. Our findings stress the importance of institutional and structural factors in the link between fiscal policy and inflation.

Mr. Luca A Ricci, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, Mr. Jaewoo Lee, Mr. Alessandro Prati, and Mr. Gian M Milesi-Ferretti

Abstract

The rapid increase in international trade and financial integration over the past decade and the growing importance of emerging markets in world trade and GDP have inspired the IMF to place stronger emphasis on multilateral surveillance, macro-financial linkages, and the implications of globalization. The IMF's Consultative Group on Exchange Rate Issues (CGER)--formed in the mid-1990s to provide exchange rate assessments for a number of advanced economies from a multilateral perspective--has therefore broadened its mandate to cover both key advanced economies and major emerging market economies. This Occasional Paper summarizes the methodologies that underpin the expanded analysis.

International Monetary Fund
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that Jamaica’s economy is estimated to have achieved its best growth performance in over a decade during FY2006/07, which ended on March 31, 2007. Notwithstanding some recent moderation of momentum, the economy is estimated to have expanded by just below 3 percent in real terms, up from 2 percent the previous year and 0.4 percent the year before. Monetary policy remains focused on containing inflation while seeking to engender a sustainable reduction in interest rates.
Ms. Ratna Sahay and Rishi Goyal
This paper compares the pattern of macroeconomic volatility in 17 Latin American countries during episodes of high and low growth since 1970, examining in particular the role of policy volatility. Macroeconomic outcomes are distinguished from macroeconomic policies, structural reforms and reversals, shocks, and institutional constraints. Based on previous work, a composite measure of structural reforms is constructed for the 1970-2004 period. We find that outcomes and policies are more volatile in low growth episodes, while shocks (except U.S. interest rates) are similar across episodes. Fiscal policy volati