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Ms. Maria A Albino, Ms. Svetlana Cerovic, Mr. Francesco Grigoli, Mr. Juan C Flores, Mr. Javier Kapsoli, Mr. Haonan Qu, Mr. Yahia Said, Mr. Bahrom Shukurov, Mr. Martin Sommer, and Mr. SeokHyun Yoon
Over the past decade, rising oil prices have translated into high levels of public investment in most MENA and CCA oil exporters. This has prompted questions about the efficiency of public investment in generating growth and closing infrastructure gaps, as well as concerns about fiscal vulnerabilities. When public investment is inefficient, higher levels of spending may simply lead to larger budget deficits, without sufficiency increasing the quantity or quality of public infrastructure in support of economic growth. This paper examines the efficiency of public investment in the MENA and CCA oil exporters using several techniques, including a novel application of the efficiency frontier analysis, estimates of unit investment costs, and assessments of public investment processes. The analysis confirms that these oil exporters have substantial room to improve public investment efficiency. Reforms in the public financial and investment management systems are needed to achieve this objective.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

The consumer price index (CPI) measures the rate at which the prices of consumer goods and services are changing over time. It is a key statistic for economic and social policymaking and has substantial and wide-ranging implications for governments, businesses, and households. This important and comprehensive Manual provides guidelines for statistical offices and other agencies responsible for constructing CPIs, and explains in-depth the methods that are used to calculate a CPI. It also examines the underlying economic and statistical concepts and principles needed for making choices in efficient and cost-effective ways, and for appreciating the full implications of those choices.

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The global expansion is losing speed in the face of a major financial crisis. The slowdown has been greatest in the advanced economies, particularly in the United States, where the housing market correction continues to exacerbate financial stress. The emerging and developing economies have so far been less affected by fi nancial market developments and have continued to grow at a rapid pace, led by China and India, although activity is beginning to slow in some countries. At the same time, headline infl ation has increased around the world, boosted by the continuing buoyancy of food and energy prices. Policymakers around the world are facing a diverse and fast-moving set of challenges, and although each country's circumstances differ, in an increasingly multipolar world it will be essential to meet these challenges broadly, taking full account of cross-border interactions. The World Economic Outlook (WEO) presents the IMF staff's analysis and projections of economic developments at the global level, in major country groups (classified by region, stage of development, etc.), and in many individual countries. It focuses on major economic policy issues as well as on the analysis of economic developments and prospects. It is usually prepared twice a year, as documentation for meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee, and forms the main instrument of the IMF's global surveillance activities.

Mr. Bernardin Akitoby, Mr. Gerd Schwartz, and Mr. Richard Hemming

Abstract

Over the past three decades, public spending on infrastructure, as a share of GDP, has been on the decline worldwide. Although the link between infrastructure investment and economic growth is not yet fully understood, the quality of infrastructure clearly affects a country's productivity, competitiveness in export markets, and ability to attract foreign investment. This EI explores the following questions: Should countries increase public investment in infrastructure? If the answer is yes, how can they do so in a fiscally responsible manner? Are public-private partnerships a viable alternative?

International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The World Economic Outlook, published twice a year in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic, presents IMF staff economists' analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term. Chapters give an overview of the world economy; consider issues affecting industrial countries, and economics in transition to market; and address topics of pressing current interest. Annexes, boxes, charts, and an extensive statistical appendix augment the text.

Mr. Mahmood Hasan Khan

Abstract

Reviews causes of poverty in rural areas and presents a policy framework for reducing rural poverty, including through land reform, public works programs, access to credit, physical and social infrastructure, subsidies, and transfer of technology. Identifies key elements for drafting a policy to reduce rural poverty.