Ecuador started with its exchange rate fixed and limited monetary policy operations, then had a long period of repeated downward exchange rate adjustments of different kinds, recurring fiscal dominance of monetary policy and limited attempts at reform, before a major banking and financial crisis led to the abandonment of its own currency in favour of the USD.

Years Targets and attainment Classification
1974-81 exchange rate fixed to USD (central bank sets buying and selling rates with narrow spread), initially small but growing parallel market with initially small but growing spread, central bank intervenes to restrain divergence; monetary policy concerned with both stability and growth, instruments include selective credit ceilings, rediscount facilities, reserve requirements and interest rates, within heavily regulated financial system; growing imbalances in forex market, exacerbated by border dispute with Peru in 1981, domestic political events and USD appreciation but also by prior central bank credit expansion and rising overvaluation, lead to rising parallel premium (despite intervention) and eventually to devaluation in mid-1982 augmented exchange rate fix AERF
1982-99 more or less continuous depreciation, including discrete devaluations, periods of faster/slower crawl and periods with (moving) exchange rate bands; developments driven by both adverse external (especially oil prices) and internal (political) developments and by domestic financial policies, punctuated by attempts at stabilisation and liberalisation; high and varying inflation (peaking in 1983, 1989, 1992, and – the highest, at over 90% – 2000); multiple forex markets, including parallel market with varying premium, for much of the period, but repeated attempts to rationalise, with rates effectively unified in 1993; fiscal deficits are recurring and important influence on monetary conditions; intermittent attempts at financial reform including some interest rate liberalisation, reductions in preferential credit lines (from central bank to private sector) and in reserve requirements, introduction of central bank bonds with gradual shift towards indirect monetary instruments, and improvements to central bank governance and autonomy (1992); 1998-9 combination of external developments, vulnerability of domestic economy and policy weaknesses lead to major banking and financial crisis, exchange rate collapse and high point for inflation unstructured discretion UD
2000-17 2000 government abandons existing own currency, sucre, in favour of USD (already widely used), no more sucres issued, all sucre deposits and loans converted to USD, central bank exchanges sucre on demand at fixed rate for USD; short-term macroeconomic improvement but IMF (2006) identifies failure to implement required domestic reforms e.g. on fiscal framework and banking regulation/ supervision, partly because of continued political instability (high turnover); dollarisation unquestioned under new government from 2007 through adverse shocks of GFC, period of stronger growth and later episode of external shocks (oil price fall, dollar appreciation) from late 2014 and earthquake 2016, but central bank’s lending to government increases and its international reserves decline; new government from mid-2017 aims to strengthen the ‘institutional foundations’ of dollarisation by banning central bank finance of government and restoring central bank’s international reserve holdings.

Note: no Article IV consultations between 2007 and 2015

use of another sovereign’s currency UASC

Selected IMF references: RED 1975 pp39-46, 48; RED 1977 p53; RED 1978 p56; SR 1980 pp10-11; RED 1982 pp27-8, 37-8; SR 1982 pp2-5, 11-12; RED 1984 pp1-2, 41, 72; RED 1985 pp1-3, 35-6, 58; RED 1987 pp37-40, 55; RED 1989 pp1-2, 34-5, 45-6, 56; RED 1991 pp34-6; RED 1992 pp14-15, 19-20; SR 1992 pp1-4; SR 1994 pp2-3, 8; RED 1995 pp4-5; SR 1997 pp6-10, 22; SI 2000 pp7-10, 23, 42-52; SI 2006 pp4-26; SR 2016 pp4-5; SI 2019 pp32-40; SR 2019 pp41-2, 49.

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