Mr. Amine Mati, Ms. Monique Newiak, and James Wilson
This paper focuses on identifying potential asymmetric responses of non-commodity output growth in times of positive and negative commodity terms-of-trade shocks. Using a sample of 27 oil-exporting countries and a panel VAR method, the study finds: 1) the short-and medium-run response of real non-commodity GDP growth is larger for negative shocks than positive shocks; 2) this asymmetry is more pronounced in countries with weak pre-existing fundamentals–high levels of public debt and low levels of international reserves–which also serve to amplify the volatility of the response; 3) the output response to positive shocks is stronger following a sustained period of CTOT increases, while the impact of negative shocks on output are more damaging when they occur after a period of CTOT decline.
This paper presents a detailed analysis of the average fiscal policy responses of oil producing countries (OPCs) to the recent oil price cycle. We find that OPCs worsened their non-oil primary balances substantially during 2003-2008 driven by an increase in primary spending. However, this trend was partially reversed when oil prices went down in 2009. We also find evidence that fiscal policy has been procyclical and has hence exacerbated the fluctuations in economic activity. In addition, we estimate that a small reduction in oil prices could lead to very large financing needs in the near future. Finally, we show that long-term fiscal sustainability positions in OPCs have worsened.
High oil prices have once again led to large external surpluses of oil exporting countries, similar to the 1970s and 1980s. This paper analyzes the extent to which (i) oil exporters use bank deposits to invest these surpluses, and (ii) banks are lending on these funds to emerging market economies. Bank recycling of petro dollars to emerging market economies is found to be almost as important as in the 1970s and 1980s, even though during the current boom, petro dollar bank flows tend to originate in countries like Russia, Libya, or Nigeria rather than in the Middle East. As one consequence, a fall in oil prices could yet again disrupt financing flows to emerging economies. Especially at risk could be countries that rely heavily on bank loans to finance external deficits, many of them in Emerging Europe.