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Equilibrium Non-Oil Current Account Assessments for Oil Producing Countries

  • Alun H. Thomas
  • Jun Il Kim
  • Aqib Aslam

This paper introduces a methodology for assessing external balance in countries with large stocks of non-renewable resources based on oil stock data, and applies it to selected oil producing countries. The methodology uses a stock approach (instead of the more traditional flow approach) to estimate the equilibrium non-oil current account consistent with optimal consumption smoothing. One of the benefits of the stock approach is that geological data for oil reserves can be used to estimate oil wealth; however, the methodology makes the estimated non-oil current account norm very sensitive to oil price projections. Based on an oil price about US$70 per barrel prevailing in the summer of 2007, the baseline estimates indicate that the non-oil current accounts for most of the countries in the sample are broadly in equilibrium. By the same token, using oil price projections as of the summer of 2008 implies large disparities between the equilibrium non-oil current account position and the medium term forecast for all countries in the sample except for Malaysia.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/198.

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Length: 24
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/198
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  1. Ghosh, Atish R, 1995. "International Capital Mobility amongst the Major Industrialised Countries: Too Little or Too Much?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 107-28, January.
  2. Jonathan David Ostry & Atish R. Ghosh, 1992. "Macroeconomic Uncertainty, Precautionary Savings and the Current Account," IMF Working Papers 92/72, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Alonso Segura, 2006. "Management of Oil Wealth Under the Permanent Income Hypothesis; The Case of Sao tome and Principe," IMF Working Papers 06/183, International Monetary Fund.
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