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International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.
This paper provides a brief overview of the latest research on the ability of forecasters to predict recessions. The paper highlights that few recessions have been forecast before their onset. Forecasters tend to be excessively cautious and do not revise their forecasts promptly and sufficiently to reflect incoming news. Nor do they fully take into account interdependence among economies. This paper also focuses on robust growth determinants highlighting that a fundamental problem confronting researchers is the lack of an explicit theory identifying the determinants of growth.
International Monetary Fund
A major element of the persistent fiscal imbalances in Guinea-Bissau is the relatively low level of revenue compared with other sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. Fiscal revenues, including grants, trended downward significantly in Guinea-Bissau from 1991 through 2005, especially during the last five years. Nontax revenues are stagnant as a proportion of GDP as a result of weak fisheries administration and control. Tax revenues as a proportion of GDP are relatively low in Guinea-Bissau even compared with other low-income countries.
Mr. John C Bluedorn, Rupa Duttagupta, Mr. Jaime Guajardo, and Miss Nkunde Mwase
Growth takeoffs in developing economies have rebounded in the past two decades. Although recent takeoffs have lasted longer than takeoffs before the 1990s, a key question is whether they could unravel like some did in the past. This paper finds that recent takeoffs are associated with stronger economic conditions, such as lower post-takeoff debt and inflation levels; more competitive real exchange rates; and better structural reforms and institutions. The chances of starting a takeoff in the 2000s was triple that before the 1990s, with domestic conditions accounting for most of the increase. The findings suggest that if today’s dynamic developing economies sustain their improved policies; they are more likely to stay on course compared to many of their predecessors.
ROBERT PICCIOTTO and RACHEL WEAVING

AT THE WORLD BANK, a new project cycle is evolving that is better adapted to the increasingly risky, volatile, and participatory framework of development assistance today.