Exchange Rate Volatility and Its Implications on Macroeconomic Variables in East African Countries

Nicas Yabu, Deogratius Kimolo


The study examines the extent of exchange rate volatility and its impact on key macroeconomic variables such as exports, FDI inflows, interest rate and inflation in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. The GARCH model is used to compute the extent of exchange rate volatility while the Panel Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) technique or pooled mean group (PMG) estimator was used to estimate the effects of exchange rate volatility on selected macroeconomic variables. The results indicate that volatility in the exchange rate is a real issue in all the sampled countries and is fundamentally driven by exports and FDI dynamics for the period under consideration. The results indicate a positive impact of the exchange rate volatility to export performance and lending rates in the long run. Exchange rate volatility appears to be detrimental to both export performance and leads to a reduction in lending rates in the short run. Also, the response of FDI to exchange rate volatility seems to be negative in the long run while in the short run the response from the volatility of real exchange rate seems is insignificant. Though not significant, the volatility of the exchange rate appears to have a positive impact on inflation. The study recommends that policymakers need institute mitigation measures which could smooth out excessive exchange rate volatility to minimize its likely impact on the economy. The study also indicated a need for the EAC countries to consider adopting inflation targeting monetary policy framework in order to contain inflation at the appropriate level.

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Applied Economics and Finance    ISSN 2332-7294 (Print)   ISSN 2332-7308 (Online)

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