This paper investigates asymmetric oil price pass through on inflation in Nepal using time series data of 331 months from April 1987 to February 2018. The paper applies Nonlinear Autoregressive Distributed Lag (NARDL) model to estimate long run and short run asymmetric adjustment of refined petroleum products on Consumer Price Index (CPI). Finding shows presence of long run asymmetric adjustment between price of all petroleum products and CPI. However, when the model is controlled for monetary impact and price level of India, only the price of diesel is found to have long run asymmetric pass through into inflation. The long run cointegrating equation shows unit rise in price of diesel is accompanied by small contraction in CPI in long run by -0.048 units. Meanwhile unit fall in price of diesel is shown to have positive long run pass through in CPI by 0.431 units. This apparent anomaly could be attributed to fact that with rise in price of diesel, demand for cheaper adulterant like kerosene increases thus resulting in fall in CPI Similarly, fall in unit price of diesel could have overall increased industrial demand and other resources which in turn led to significant increase in CPI. Meanwhile, study didn’t find any significant asymmetry in short run between CPI and petroleum products. However, in short run a significant impact on the CPI by actual size of increased price of Petrol and Diesel has been found. Hence, in short run, it shows that it is the size of price increase in Petrol and Diesel; not the price itself that has significant effect on the CPI. Since petroleum products in Nepal are not priced by market, these findings can provide guidelines for future oil pricing in reducing the spillover impact on general price level.
This paper estimates the optimal inflation rate in Nepal based on the data of the period 1978–2016. The novelty of the analysis is that it probes possible non-linearity of the hypothesized impact of inflation on economic growth using alternative specifications. The results suggest that there exists a threshold effect of inflation. The Ordinary Least Squares method estimates the turning point of inflation to be 6.25 percent while that of the Hansen (2000) method shows the threshold level to be 6.40 percent. The maximum impact on growth associated with the turning point, and at the mean levels of other explanatory variables is quite high at 4.59 percent. The results suggest that Nepal should adopt an inflation target range around the computed optimal inflation rate to lower the inflation expectation and enhance economic growth.
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