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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recovered relative to 2016, but the momentum is weak and per capita incomes are expected to barely increase. Further, vulnerabilities have risen in many countries, adding to the urgency of implementing the fiscal consolidations planned in most countries and with stepped up efforts to strengthen growth.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Growth in sub-Saharan Africa has recovered relative to 2016, but the momentum is weak and per capita incomes are expected to barely increase. Further, vulnerabilities have risen in many countries, adding to the urgency of implementing the fiscal consolidations planned in most countries and with stepped up efforts to strengthen growth.

Céline Allard

Abstract

La dynamique de croissance en Afrique subsaharienne demeure fragile, ce qui représente une rupture par rapport à la rapide expansion qui avait été enregistrée depuis le début du millénaire. L’année 2016 a été difficile pour de nombreux pays et la croissance régionale est descendue à 1,4 %, le niveau le plus faible depuis plus de deux décennies. La plupart des exportateurs de pétrole ont été en récession et la conjoncture est restée difficile dans les autres pays riches en ressources naturelles. En revanche, dans les pays pauvres en ressources naturelles la croissance a continué d’être robuste. Grâce à une modeste reprise, la croissance devrait se situer à environ 2,6 % en 2017, niveau toutefois inférieur à celui des tendances passées et trop faible pour remettre l’Afrique subsaharienne sur la voie de l’amélioration des niveaux de vie. La région continue d’offrir un énorme potentiel de croissance, mais la détérioration des perspectives globales tient en partie au caractère insuffisant des ajustements opérés par les pouvoirs publics. Pour mettre en valeur ce potentiel, la région devra mener des politiques saines et avisées qui lui permettront de faire redémarrer le moteur de la croissance.

Céline Allard

Abstract

Growth momentum in sub-Saharan Africa remains fragile, marking a break from the rapid expansion witnessed since the turn of the millennium. 2016 was a difficult year for many countries, with regional growth dipping to 1.4 percent—the lowest level of growth in more than two decades. Most oil exporters were in recession, and conditions in other resource-intensive countries remained difficult. Other nonresource-intensive countries however, continued to grow robustly. A modest recovery in growth of about 2.6 percent is expected in 2017, but this falls short of past trends and is too low to put sub-Saharan Africa back on a path of rising living standards. While sub-Saharan Africa remains a region with tremendous growth potential, the deterioration in the overall outlook partly reflects insufficient policy adjustment. In that context, and to reap this potential, strong and sound domestic policy measures are needed to restart the growth engine.

International Monetary Fund. European Dept.

Abstract

The key policy challenges facing countries in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe remain broadly unchanged, among them supporting domestic demand, addressing financial crisis legacies, rebuilding buffers against external shocks, and improving the business environment. Country-specific priorities depend on how far along they are in the postcrisis adjustment and their exposure to external risks.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

Fiscal risks remain significant in both advanced and emerging market and developing economies. Fiscal policy continues to play an essential role in building confidence and, where appropriate, sustaining aggregate demand. According to this issue of the Fiscal Monitor, strengthening fiscal frameworks—particularly to manage public finance risks and ensure debt sustainability—must be part of the fiscal policy response. Countries should seize the moment created by lower oil prices to start the process of energy taxation and energy subsidy reform. Finally, fiscal policy can contribute substantially to macroeconomic stability, through the workings of automatic stabilizers. By doing so, fiscal policy can also unlock significant growth dividends.

Mr. James Roaf, Mr. Ruben V Atoyan, Mr. Bikas Joshi, and Mr. Krzysztof Krogulski

Abstract

The past 25 years have seen a dramatic transformation in Europe’s former communist countries, resulting in their reintegration with the global economy, and, in most cases, major improvements in living standards. But the task of building full market economies has been difficult and protracted. Liberalization of trade and prices came quickly, but institutional reforms—such as governance reform, competition policy, privatization and enterprise restructuring—often faced opposition from vested interests. The results of the first years of transition were uneven. All countries suffered high inflation and major recessions as prices were freed and old economic linkages broke down. But the scale of output losses and the time taken for growth to return and inflation to be brought under control varied widely. Initial conditions and external factors played a role, but policies were critical too. Countries that undertook more front-loaded and bold reforms were rewarded with faster recovery and income convergence. Others were more vulnerable to the crises that swept the region in the wake of the 1997 Asia crisis.

Abstract

Fiscal risks are abating somewhat but remain elevated. In advanced economies, recent policy moves have broadly stabilized public debt ratios, but medium-term prospects are still uncertain, and debt remains at historic highs. Fiscal vulnerabilities are rising in both emerging market economies and low-income countries, although in most cases from relatively moderate levels. Across country groups, fiscal policy should aim at rebuilding policy space while supporting the recovery and long-term growth prospects.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

Persistently high debt ratios in advanced economies and emerging fragilities in the developing world cast clouds on the global fiscal landscape. In advanced economies, with narrowing budget deficits, the average public debt ratio is expected to stabilize in 2013–14—but it will be at a historic peak. At the same time, fiscal vulnerabilities are on the rise in emerging market economies and low-income countries—on the back, in emerging market economies, of heightened financial volatility and downward revisions to potential growth, and in low-income countries, of possible shortfalls in commodity prices and aid. Strengthening fiscal balances and buttressing confidence thus remain at the top of the policy agenda. Against that backdrop, this issue explores whether and how tax reform can help strengthen public finances. Taxation is always a sensitive topic and is now more than ever at the center of policy debates around the world. Can countries tax more, better, more fairly? Results reported in this issue show that the scope to raise more revenue is limited in many advanced economies and, where tax ratios are already high, the bulk of the necessary adjustment will have to fall on spending. In emerging market economies and low-income countries, where the potential for raising revenue is often substantial, improving compliance remains a central challenge.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

Growth in the Asia-Pacific region shows signs of improving as extreme risks emanating from advanced economies have receded and domestic demand remains resilient, supported by relatively easy financial conditions and robust labor markets. A small and gradual pick-up in growth to over 5¾ percent is projected in the course of 2013. Risks to the outlook from within the region, such as rising financial imbalances and asset prices in some economies, are coming clearer into focus. Although Asia’s banking and corporate sectors have solid buffers, monetary policymakers should stand ready to respond early and decisively to shifting risks, and macroprudential measures will also have a role to play. In many Asian economies, some fiscal consolidation could also rebuild the space needed to respond to future shocks and preempt potential overheating pressures from capital inflows. In particular, there is a growing need to make tax and spending policies more efficient. To sustain high growth rates and alleviate the “middle-income trap” across Emerging Asia, the policy agenda will vary by jurisdiction but will also often include strengthening infrastructure investment and reforming goods and labor markets.