The global economy is climbing out from the depths to which it had plummeted during the Great Lockdown in April. But with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to spread, many countries have slowed reopening and some are reinstating partial lockdowns to protect susceptible populations. While recovery in China has been faster than expected, the global economy’s long ascent back to pre-pandemic levels of activity remains prone to setbacks.
Global growth for 2018–19 is projected to remain steady at its 2017 level, but its pace is less vigorous than projected in April and it has become less balanced. Downside risks to global growth have risen in the past six months and the potential for upside surprises has receded.
Global growth is projected at 3.7 percent for 2018–19—0.2 percentage point lower for both years than forecast in April. The downward revision reflects surprises that suppressed activity in early 2018 in some major advanced economies, the negative effects of the
trade measures implemented or approved between April and mid-September, as well as a weaker outlook for some key emerging market and developing economies arising from country-specific factors, tighter financial conditions, geopolitical tensions, and higher oil import bills.
The balance of risks to the global growth forecast has shifted to the downside in a context of elevated policy uncertainty. Several of the downside risks highlighted in the April 2018 World Economic Outlook (WEO)—such as rising trade barriers and a reversal of capital flows to emerging market economies with weaker fundamentals and higher political risk—have become more pronounced or have partially materialized. Meanwhile, the potential
for upside surprises has receded, given the tightening of financial conditions in some parts of the world, higher trade costs, slow implementation of reforms recommended in the past, and waning growth momentum.
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. External Relations Dept.
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