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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Abstract

Countries in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) region and those in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with swift and stringent measures to mitigate its spread and impact but continue to face an uncertain and difficult environment. Oil exporters were particularly hard hit by a “double-whammy” of the economic impact of lockdowns and the resulting sharp decline in oil demand and prices. Containing the health crisis, cushioning income losses, and expanding social spending remain immediate priorities. However, governments must also begin to lay the groundwork for recovery and rebuilding stronger, including by addressing legacies from the crisis and strengthening inclusion.

Samya Beidas-Strom and Marco Lorusso
We build and estimate open economy two-bloc DSGE models to study the transmission and impact of shocks in Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom. After accounting for country-specific fiscal and monetary sectors, we estimate their key policy and structural parameters. Our findings suggest that not only has output responded differently to shocks due to differing levels of diversification and structural and policy settings, but also the responses to fiscal consolidation differ: Russia would benefit from a smaller state foot-print, while in Saudi Arabia, unless this is accompanied by structural reforms that remove rigidities, output would fall. We also find that lower oil prices need not be bad news given more oil-intensive production structures. However, lower oil prices have hurt these oil producers as their public finances depend heavily on oil, among other factors. Productivity gains accompanied by ambitious structural reforms, along with fiscal and monetary reforms could support these economies to achieve better outcomes when oil prices fall, including via diversifying exports.
Mr. Hamid R Tabarraei, Hamed Ghiaie, and Asghar Shahmoradi
The structural model in this paper proposes a micro-founded framework that incorporates an active banking sector with an oil-producing sector. The primary goal of adding a banking sector is to examine the role of an interbank market on shocks, introduce a national development fund and study its link to the banking sector and the government. The government and the national development fund directly play key roles in the propagation of the oil shock. In contrast, the banking sector and the labor market, through perfect substitution between the oil and non-oil sectors, have major indirect impacts in spreading shocks.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that Norway is in the midst of a healthy recovery from the oil downturn, supported by positive trends in oil prices and a strengthening labor market. In addition, banks remain profitable and well capitalized. However, household debt continues to increase and house prices have resumed their rise, especially in the Oslo area, after a correction during 2017. Mainland growth is projected to increase from 2 percent in 2017 to 2.5 percent in each 2018 and 2019, underpinned by solid consumption, stronger business investment and an export recovery. Petroleum investment will also pick up. As a result, output will likely start to exceed potential in 2019.