International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Over the course of the pandemic, the Fund has made several modifications to the access limits on the use of Fund’s resources to increase the borrowing space under the hard caps on emergency financing and under the annual limits that trigger exceptional access (EA) safeguards under GRA and PRGT. The current temporarily-increased access limits expire at end-December 2021, and absent policy changes, the limits would return to the lower pre-pandemic levels or to the new PRGT annual access limit. Staff proposes to let all access limits return to pre-pandemic levels (or the new PRGT annual access limit), with the exception of the cumulative access limits for emergency financing instruments, which would be extended at the current level for another 18 months.
This technical assistance (TA) report on government finance statistics (GFS) covers the remote TA to the Ministry of Finance (MOF) during September 21–October 2 and December 14–18, 2020 and March 9–13 and April 19–23, 2021 (which was extended to May 2021). These peripatetic activities were conducted remotely due to the travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 situation. This report documents the main achievements from these activities. These activities were part of the GFS and Public Sector Debt Statistics (PSDS) project funded by the Government of Japan (JSA3) and implemented by the IMF Statistics Department (STA) and the IMF Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT).
The Financial Action Task Force’s gray list publicly identiﬁes countries with strategic deﬁciencies in their AML/CFT regimes (i.e., in their policies to prevent money laundering and the ﬁnancing of terrorism). How much gray-listing aﬀects a country’s capital ﬂows is of interest to policy makers, investors, and the Fund. This paper estimates the magnitude of the eﬀect using an inferential machine learning technique. It ﬁnds that gray-listing results in a large and statistically signiﬁcant reduction in capital inﬂows.
Some central banks have maintained overvalued official exchange rates, while unable to ensure that supply of foreign exchange meets legitimate demand for current account transactions at that price. A parallel exchange rate market develops, in such circumstances; and when the spread between the official and parallel rates is both substantial and sustained, price levels in the economy typically reflect the parallel market exchange rate. “Recognizing reality” by allowing economic agents to use a market clearing rate benefits economic activity without necessarily leading to more inflation. But a unified, market-clearing exchange rate will not stabilize without a supportive fiscal and monetary context. A number of country case studies are included; my thanks to Jie Ren for pulling together all the data for the country case studies, and the production of the charts.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
With the economy already slowing due to the COVID-19 pandemic in FY2019/20, a more intense second wave has hit Myanmar hard, inflicting large economic and social costs and straining the frail healthcare system. The needed strict lockdown measures have hurt manufacturing and spending further, while weak external demand has weighed on exports and tourism, though the kyat continued to appreciate as remittances remained robust. In FY2020/21, growth will decelerate further to 0.5 percent and open up external and fiscal financing gaps of about US$1 billion. The IMF’s RCF/RFI disbursement of 50 percent of quota (SDR 258.4 million) in June helped support the authorities’ policy response for FY2019/20, particularly for social and health spending, kept monetary financing within target, and catalyzed financing from external partners, including through the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI).