|Macroeconomics & Monetary Policy||
The overall goal of the Macroeconomics unit is to improve public policy for growth, equity and poverty reduction through macroeconomic policy analysis and research. It focuses on analysis of pertinent macroeconomic policy issues such as interest rates, inflation, and exchange rate movements; domestic and external public debt.
The unit’s core works planned for 2018 will include the following activities:
(a) Macroeconomic Performance Assessment Framework (MPAF) development: The MPAF was established in 2017 as an alternative framework for periodically measuring Zambia’s macroeconomic performance and health. It was endorsed in 2017 by an interim technical reference group (BOZ, CSO and MOF) and needs to be further developed. In 2018, the MPAF will be anchored to the [forthcoming] MOU between BOZ and ZIPAR. MPAF activities in 2018 will focus on: (i) expanding the technical reference group to include MNDP, UNZA (Economics Dept.), PAC/Cabinet Office and the IMF; (ii) enhancing the data collection arrangements, towards improving the routine production of semi-annual Macro-Watch Reports (in April/May and October/ November); (iii) popularizing the Macro-Watch Reports through targeted dissemination efforts; and (iv) establishing an institutional framework under which the MPAF technical reference group will operate. ZIPAR will initiate the building of the non-parametric and parametric testing, modelling and forecasting equations for the envisioned MPAF macro-econometric structural model. To the extent possible, the prototype equations in the macro-model will be empirically specified and run, but for learning only, not for public dissemination of their results. The main outputs in 2018 will be:
- ZIPAR Macro-Watch Q1-Q4:2017 Report (covering the full-year 2017 and involving all ZIPAR units): to be published (as a report and policy brief) in April/May 2018 as an independent view of the state of the economy in 2017.
- Macro-Watch Q1-Q2:2018 Report: this will present an independent Review of Progress in Implementing the EGSP (2017-2019) as at the mid-point of the Programme. It will target MOF and MNDP as the primary policy-maker audiences and will be published (as a report and policy brief) in October/November of 2018.
- A formal Institutional Arrangement operationalizing the MPAF Technical Reference Group comprising BOZ, MOF, MNDP, CSO, UNZA, PAC and IMF.
(b) Revisiting the Jobs Story: the Place of Employment Targets in the EGSP: this study emerged from the 2018 National Budget Address and ZIPAR’s subsequent analysis of the budget. In particularly, the issue of vanishing jobs targets came to the fore. This work therefore aims to recommend policies for bringing jobs back onto the macroeconomic policy framework of Zambia. It seeks to answer the following questions: how should jobs be targeted (employment, unemployment, underemployment, etc.) and measured? How can targeting spur actual job creation? What can we learn from other countries? This study will also offer critical insights into the implications for jobs monitoring and evaluation of CSO’s revisions to the LFS methodology and the data structural break that the revisions created. This will be funded by DFID/Kivu and is set to be completed by end of the first quarter of 2018. It will be published as short working paper and policy brief, targeting MOF, CSO, MNDP, MLSS and ILO.
(c) Contingency studies: In 2018, the unit will only pursue one or the other of these two contingency studies (with the intention that the other will be rolled over into 2019):
- Evaluation of the Financial Inclusion Strategy (2017-2022): In 2017, Zambia launched the National Financial Sector Policy (2017) and the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS, 2017-2022). Although financial inclusion improved markedly under the predecessor Financial Sector Development Plan (FSDP, 2004-2009) and FSDP II (2010-2015), Zambia still lags behind most other African countries. For instance, in 2015 only 59% of adults in Zambia were financial included compared to 87% in South Africa, 77% in Zimbabwe, 76% in Botswana, and 73% in Tanzania. In 2018, ZIPAR will initiate a two-year study (2018-2019) under the BOZ-ZIPAR MOU. Phase I (2018) will focus on assessing the successes and challenges of the NFIS in fostering financial inclusion. With ZIPAR having been appointed to the Financial Infrastructure Working Group on the NFIS, the study will aim to inform the Working Group. However, given the significance of financial inclusion for development and poverty reduction, MNDP, MOF, PAC, BAZ, academic and research institutions and donors and donor funded agencies (like FSDZ) will be key (secondary) stakeholders. The 2018 activity will be from Q2:2018 through Q4:2018, with the main expected output being a scoping study report.
- Revisiting Zambia's Middle Income Status under 7NDP and Implications for Vision 2030: this will be a fall-back study in case the BOZ-ZIPAR MOU does not materialize or materialize late. The study will be a desk review to explain the extent to which the 7NDP is poised to support attainment of the Vision 2030. It will explore the nature of GNI per capita growth that would be required in order to propel Zambia towards becoming a prosperous middle income country by 2030, and what some of the critical gaps and bottlenecks exist. This is mainly in response to MNDP’s request for ZIPAR to conduct 7NDP studies. The study will be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2018 (published as a short policy paper) targeting MNDP and Ministry of Religion and National Guidance (MRNG).
Based on works completed in 2017, which received limited dissemination, ZIPAR will also produce and disseminate the following policy briefs in 2018:
- Policy levers among the key determinant of interest rate spreads and lending rates in Zambia;
- Copper-based industrialization: turning the idea of adding value where it matters into a reality;
- Subsidies removal: selling the options to shift resource savings to infrastructure and social protection spending; and
- Ghana and Zambia experiences with IMF financing support: policy lessons on what Zambia could do differently
Macroeconomics Research Team
- Caesar Cheelo
- Nakubyana Mungomba
- Ignatius Masilokwa