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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Ghana has been hit hard by the pandemic. The government’s proactive response helped contain the spread of COVID-19, protecting lives and limiting the impact on economic activity. However, partly because of the pandemic, the fiscal position worsened considerably last year, with a sharp increase in public sector debt.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation discusses that driven by popular frustration with high levels of corruption and inequality, Haiti has been experiencing a protracted political crisis and prolonged civil unrest. The baseline scenario assumes some stabilization in the political situation by early 2020 but no major political or economic reforms. This would allow growth to recover only gradually and in the absence of sustained implementation of good policies and structural reforms, potential growth would remain low at about 1.4 percent over the medium term. Downside risks, both domestic and external, remain elevated. A prolongation of political instability, extreme natural disaster, drop in remittances, and/or a contraction in exports because of trade tensions would worsen the outlook, particularly given the absence of buffers and fragile social conditions. The challenge is to stabilize the macroeconomic situation in an unstable political context. The IMF Staff encourages the authorities to continue their efforts to contain the fiscal deficit and its monetary financing by the central bank. Improving domestic revenue collection and redirecting current spending would help create space for much needed social and capital expenditures. Together with steps to strengthen the central bank’s autonomy and legal framework, this would help reduce fiscal dominance.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses Ghana’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF). Growth is slowing down, financial conditions have tightened, and the exchange rate is under pressure. This has resulted in large government and external financing needs. The authorities have timely and proactively responded to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in Ghana and support affected households and firms. The IMF continues to monitor Ghana’s situation closely and stands ready to provide policy advice and further support as needed. The uncertain dynamics of the pandemic creates significant risks to the macroeconomic outlook. Ghana continues to be classified at high risk of debt distress. The authorities remain committed to policies consistent with strong growth, rapid poverty reduction, and macroeconomic stability over the medium term. Additional support from other development partners will be required and critical to close the remaining external financing gap and ease budget constraints.
Mr. Nooman Rebei and Rashid Sbia
This paper documents the determinants of real oil price in the global market based on SVAR model embedding transitory and permanent shocks on oil demand and supply as well as speculative disturbances. We find evidence of significant differences in the propagation mechanisms of transitory versus permanent shocks, pointing to the importance of disentangling their distinct effects. Permanent supply disruptions turn out to be a bigger factor in historical oil price movements during the most recent decades, while speculative shocks became less influential.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Ghana highlights discussions focused on strengthening institutions and policies to preserve macroeconomic stability and promote inclusive growth, building on the authorities’ “Ghana beyond Aid” strategy. The government headline deficit is projected to reach 4.7 percent of gross domestic product in 2019, driven by lower-than-expected revenues, spending on flagship programs, and unexpected security outlays due to emerging security challenges in the region. Medium-term prospects are favorable, with robust growth driven mostly by the extractive sector. Election-related spending pressures in 2020 constitute the main risk to the baseline scenario. Fiscal risks in the financial and energy sectors could also impact the government deficit. Government borrowing needs are exposed to rollover risk that should be carefully managed as financing conditions could tighten. The commitment to the new fiscal rules is expected to help maintain fiscal discipline, as reflected in the unchanged policy baseline. A more ambitious fiscal stance is called for to reduce macroeconomic risks, accelerate debt reduction, and strengthen the external balance.