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Hans Weisfeld, Mr. Irineu E de Carvalho Filho, Mr. Fabio Comelli, Rahul Giri, Klaus-Peter Hellwig, Chengyu Huang, Fei Liu, Mrs. Sandra V Lizarazo Ruiz, Alexis Mayer Cirkel, and Mr. Andrea F Presbitero
In recent years, Fund staff has prepared cross-country analyses of macroeconomic vulnerabilities in low-income countries, focusing on the risk of sharp declines in economic growth and of debt distress. We discuss routes to broadening this focus by adding several macroeconomic and macrofinancial vulnerability concepts. The associated early warning systems draw on advances in predictive modeling.
Carine Meyimdjui
Using a panel of 101 low- and middle-income countries with data covering the period 1980-2012, this paper applies various econometric approaches that deal with endogeneity issues to assess the impact of food price shocks on socio-political instability once fiscal policy and remittances have been accounted for. It focuses on import prices to reflect the vulnerability of importer countries / net-buyer households to food price shocks. The paper finds that import food price shocks strongly increase the likelihood of socio-political instability. This effect is greater in countries with lower levels of private credit and income per capita. On the other hand, while remittances seem to dampen the adverse effect of import food price shocks on socio-political instability in almost all countries, the mitigating role of fiscal policy is significant only in countries with low-levels of private credit.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & and Review Department
"This paper is the fourth in a series that examines macroeconomic developments and prospects in Low Income Developing Countries (LIDCs). LIDCs are Fund member countries where gross national income (GNI) per capita lies below a threshold level and where external financial linkages and socioeconomic indicators have not lifted them into emerging market status. There are 59 countries in the LIDC grouping, accounting for about one-fifth of the world’s population and 4 percent of global output. The paper examines macroeconomic trends across LIDCs in recent years, contrasting key features of the current situation with the period prior to the 2014 decline in commodity prices. Particular attention is given to the evolution of fiscal positions and public debt levels, including detailed analysis of the drivers of debt accumulation and the current severity of debt vulnerabilities. The analysis is grounded in, and draws on, the analysis and databases used to compile the World Economic Outlook: this report drills down into the WEO database to look in detail at the experience of LIDCs."
International Monetary Fund
This paper is the third in a series assessing macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income developing countries (LIDCs). The first of these papers (IMF, 2014a) examined trends during 2000–2014, a period of sustained strong growth across most LIDCs. The second paper (IMF, 2015a) focused on the impact of the drop in global commodity prices since mid-2014 on LIDCs—a story with losers (countries dependent on commodity exports, notably fuel) and winners (countries with a more diverse export base, where growth remained robust). The overarching theme in this paper’s assessment of the macroeconomic conjuncture among LIDCs is that of incomplete adjustment to the new world of “lower for long” commodity prices, with many commodity exporters still far from a sustainable macroeconomic trajectory (Chapter 1). The analysis of risks and vulnerabilities focuses on financial sector stresses and medium-term fiscal risks, pointing to the actions, including capacity building, needed to manage and contain these challenges over time (Chapter 2). With 2016 the first year of the march towards the 2030 development goals, the paper also looks at how infrastructure investment can be accelerated in LIDCs, given that weaknesses in public infrastructure (such as energy, transportation systems) in LIDCs are widely seen as a key constraint on medium-term growth potential (Chapter 3). With the sharp adjustment in commodity prices now into its third year, some of the key messages of the paper are familiar: a) many commodity exporters, notably fuel producers, remain under significant economic stress, with sluggish growth, large fiscal imbalances, and weakened foreign reserve positions; b) countries with a more diversified export base are generally doing well, although several have been hit by declines in remittances, conflict/natural disasters, and the contractionary impact of macroeconomic stabilization programs; c) widening fiscal imbalances, in both commodity and diversified exporters, have resulted in rising debt levels, with severe financing stress emerging in some cases; and d) financial sector stresses have emerged in many LIDCs, with expectations that these strains will increase in many commodity exporters over the next 12–18 months. Key messages on financial sector oversight, on medium-term fiscal risks, and on tackling infrastructure gaps are flagged below. Read Executive Summary in: Arabic; Chinese; French; Spanish
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Le taux de croissance économique de l’Afrique subsaharienne devrait descendre cette année à son plus bas niveau depuis plus de vingt ans, en raison d’un environnement extérieur moins porteur et d’une réaction insuffisante de la part des pouvoirs publics. Globalement, la région connaît en fait une croissance économique à deux vitesses : tandis que la plupart des pays peu tributaires des exportations de ressources naturelles — la moitié des pays de la région — continuent d’enregistrer de bons résultats, car ils bénéficient de la diminution de leur facture pétrolière, de l’amélioration du climat des affaires et de la poursuite des investissements d’infrastructure, la plupart des pays exportateurs de produits de base subissent de graves tensions économiques. C’est le cas en particulier des pays exportateurs de pétrole, dont les perspectives à court terme se sont nettement dégradées ces derniers mois. L’Afrique subsaharienne reste néanmoins une région dont le potentiel économique est immense, mais un ajustement des politiques publiques s’impose d’urgence dans les pays les plus touchés pour permettre un rebond de la croissance.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year is set to drop to its lowest level in more than 20 years, reflecting the adverse external environment, and a lackluster policy response in many countries. However, the aggregate picture is one of multispeed growth: while most of non-resource-intensive countries—half of the countries in the region—continue to perform well, as they benefit from lower oil prices, an improved business environment, and continued strong infrastructure investment, most commodity exporters are under severe economic strains. This is particularly the case for oil exporters whose near-term prospects have worsened significantly in recent months. Sub-Saharan Africa remains a region of immense economic potential, but policy adjustment in the hardest-hit countries needs to be enacted promptly to allow for a growth rebound.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

La croissance économique en Afrique subsaharienne est tombée en 2015 à son plus bas niveau depuis quinze ans, avec toutefois une grande disparité entre les pays de la région. La chute des cours des produits de base de ces dernières années a ébranlé beaucoup des plus grands pays d’Afrique subsaharienne, dont des pays exportateurs de pétrole tels que l'Angola et le Nigéria, et d'autres produits exportateurs de produits de base, tels que le Ghana, l'Afrique du Sud et la Zambie. La baisse des cours pétroliers a toutefois permis à d'autres pays de maintenir une croissance vigoureuse, dont le Kenya et le Sénégal. Dans de nombreux pays, il est urgent et essentiel de prendre des mesures robustes face aux chocs sur les termes de l'échange. Le rapport aborde également la vulnérabilité de l'Afrique subsaharienne face aux chocs sur les prix de base et note les avancées spectaculaires en matière de développement du secteur financier, et plus particulièrement dans le domaine des services financiers mobiles.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole has fallen to its lowest level in 15 years, though with large variation among countries in the region. The sharp decline in commodity prices has severely strained many of the largest economies, including oil exporters Angola and Nigeria, and other commodity exporters, such as Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia. At the same time, the decline in oil prices has helped other countries continue to show robust growth, including Kenya and Senegal. A strong policy response to the terms-of-trade shocks is critical and urgent in many countries. This report also examines sub-Saharan Africa’s vulnerability to commodity price shocks, and documents the substantial progress made in financial develop, especially financial services based on mobile technologies.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

La croissance en Afrique subsaharienne a ralenti, après plus d'une décennie de croissance robuste, bien que ce tableau masque des disparités importantes dans la région. Certains pays ont particulièrement souffert de la chute des cours de leurs principaux produits d'exportation. Les pays exportateurs de pétrole, dont le Nigéria et l'Angola, ont été durement touchés par la baisse des recettes et les ajustements budgétaires correspondants, et des pays à revenu intermédiaire tels que l'Afrique du Sud, le Ghana et la Zambie se heurtent également à des conditions défavorables. Ce rapport d'octobre 2015 examine les ajustements que ces pays devront apporter à leurs politiques budgétaires et monétaires pour s'adapter à ce nouvel environnement. Le chapitre 2 s'intéresse à la compétitivité de la région : il analyse l'importante intégration commerciale qui a accompagné la récente période de forte croissance et examine les mesures qui pourraient soutenir de nouvelles sources de croissance. Le chapitre 3 se penche sur les implications de la persistance de fortes inégalités de revenus et entre les sexes en Afrique subsaharienne, et envisage des mesures pour y remédier.

International Monetary Fund

Abstract

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has weakened after more than a decade of solid growth, although this overall outlook masks considerable variation across the region. Some countries have been negatively affected by falling prices of their main commodity exports. Oil-exporting countries, including Nigeria and Angola, have been hit hard by falling revenues and the resulting fiscal adjustments, while middle-income countries such as Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia are also facing unfavorable conditions. This October 2015 report discusses the fiscal and monetary policy adjustments necessary for these countries to adapt to the new environment. Chapter 2 looks at competitiveness in the region, analyzing the substantial trade integration that accompanied the recent period of high growth, and policy actions to nurture new sources of growth. Chapter 3 looks at the implications for the region of persistently high income and gender inequality and ways to reduce them.