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Mr. Philip Barrett, Maximiliano Appendino, Kate Nguyen, and Jorge de Leon Miranda
We present a new index of social unrest based on counts of relevant media reports. The index consists of individual monthly time series for 130 countries, available with almost no lag, and can be easily and transparently replicated. Spikes in the index identify major events, which correspond very closely to event timelines from external sources for four major regional waves of social unrest. We show that the cross-sectional distribution of the index can be simply and precisely characterized, and that social unrest is associated with a 3 percentage point increase in the frequency of social unrest domestically and a 1 percent increase in neighbors in the next six months. Despite this, social unrest is not a better predictor of future social unrest than the country average rate.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Arab Republic of Egypt’s Fifth Review Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Macroeconomic performance has remained strong in 2018/19, supported by continued sound policy implementation. The report highlights that monetary policy remains anchored by the medium-term objective of bringing inflation to single digits. Core inflation appears to be well contained, however the central bank should remain cautious until disinflation is firmly entrenched. Exchange rate flexibility remains essential to improve resilience to shocks and preserve competitiveness. The outlook remains favorable and provides an opportune juncture to further advance structural reforms to support more inclusive private-sector led growth and job creation. The authorities have launched important reforms of competition policy, public procurement, industrial land allocation, and state-owned enterprises, and sustained implementation will be essential to ensure that statutory changes achieve meaningful results in the business climate. Sustained efforts are needed to advance reforms in competition, industrial land allocation, and governance of state-owned enterprises.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Argentina’s Fourth Review under the Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The paper highlights that Egypt’s macroeconomic situation has improved markedly since the initiation of the authorities’ reform program in November 2016. The liberalization of the foreign exchange market, prudent monetary policy, and ambitious fiscal consolidation has helped stabilize the macroeconomic environment. Growth has accelerated; external and fiscal deficits have narrowed; international reserves have risen; and public debt, inflation, and unemployment have declined. The external environment has shifted in recent months, posing new policy challenges. The tightening of global financial conditions and heightened global risk aversion have contributed to a pullback by investors from emerging markets. The outlook remains favorable, provided policies agreed under the program are implemented, but the balance of risks has shifted. The authorities’ prudent policies have been instrumental in preserving macroeconomic stability, even as the external environment has weakened notably. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ request for the completion of the fourth review under the Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Third Review Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility, and Requests for a Waiver of Nonobservance of a Performance Criterion and for Modification of a Performance Criterion-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Arab Republic of Egypt

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Third Review Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility, and Requests for a Waiver of Nonobservance of a Performance Criterion and for Modification of a Performance Criterion-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Arab Republic of Egypt

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Macroeconomic conditions have continued to improve during 2017/18, with external and fiscal deficits narrowing, inflation and unemployment declining, and growth accelerating. The near-term growth outlook is favorable, supported by the recovery in tourism and rising natural gas production, while the current account deficit has fallen below 3 percent of GDP and gross international reserves stood at 7 months of prospective imports at end-May. Inflation is expected to temporarily rise in 2018/19, reflecting increases in fuel and electricity prices, but the monetary policy stance appears appropriate to contain second-round effects. The government debt ratio is projected to decline markedly in response to fiscal consolidation and high nominal GDP growth.