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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper on the Philippines explores export performance in the context of global trade tensions. Unlike many Asian countries, the Philippines’ exports of goods have remained stable through the ongoing period of global trade tensions. Its low participation in global trade as well as in global value chains relative-to-peers seems to explain why the Philippines has not yet been negatively impacted by the trade tensions. On the other hand, despite its close trade ties with the United States, the Philippines has not benefitted much from trade diversion originated from the US–China bilateral tariffs, unlike Vietnam and Mexico. Philippines’ exports have slightly increased in dollar terms since 2017, but they have remained broadly stable in GDP terms. The Philippines does not appear to have benefitted much from the US–China trade tensions, but it has performed better than many of its peers at the aggregate level. The comparative advantages of the Philippines in terms of exports reside in high tech industries, which constitute its main exports. The Philippines has a revealed comparative advantage in exporting from high technology industries. In sum, the disaggregated trade data evidence suggests that the Philippines was not able to scale-up its exports to the United States as much as Vietnam and Mexico in many high- to medium-tech goods included in the US tariff lists.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Regional Economic Outlook, October 2019, Western Hemisphere Department

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

Regional Economic Outlook, October 2019, Western Hemisphere Department

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Abstract

The global economy has slowed, with important consequences for growth prospects in Latin America and the Caribbean. The slowdown in economic activity has been broad-based among advanced economies and more pronounced in emerging markets and developing economies, partly reflecting trade and geopolitical tensions. Global growth is projected to decline to the lowest level since the global financial crises, before recovering in 2020. More importantly, growth is projected to decline in 2019–20 in the United States and China, which are LAC’s two main trading partners. The ongoing sluggishness of global growth and trade is affecting export growth in LAC, posing significant headwinds to the outlook. External demand for the region remains subdued, with trading partner growth (including China, Europe, other LAC countries, and the United States) projected to decline in 2019, before recovering modestly over the medium term. Moreover, commodity prices (notably energy and metals), key drivers of growth in LAC in the past, are projected to decline with a likely modest negative impact on regional growth going forward.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Le taux de croissance économique de l’Afrique subsaharienne devrait descendre cette année à son plus bas niveau depuis plus de vingt ans, en raison d’un environnement extérieur moins porteur et d’une réaction insuffisante de la part des pouvoirs publics. Globalement, la région connaît en fait une croissance économique à deux vitesses : tandis que la plupart des pays peu tributaires des exportations de ressources naturelles — la moitié des pays de la région — continuent d’enregistrer de bons résultats, car ils bénéficient de la diminution de leur facture pétrolière, de l’amélioration du climat des affaires et de la poursuite des investissements d’infrastructure, la plupart des pays exportateurs de produits de base subissent de graves tensions économiques. C’est le cas en particulier des pays exportateurs de pétrole, dont les perspectives à court terme se sont nettement dégradées ces derniers mois. L’Afrique subsaharienne reste néanmoins une région dont le potentiel économique est immense, mais un ajustement des politiques publiques s’impose d’urgence dans les pays les plus touchés pour permettre un rebond de la croissance.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa this year is set to drop to its lowest level in more than 20 years, reflecting the adverse external environment, and a lackluster policy response in many countries. However, the aggregate picture is one of multispeed growth: while most of non-resource-intensive countries—half of the countries in the region—continue to perform well, as they benefit from lower oil prices, an improved business environment, and continued strong infrastructure investment, most commodity exporters are under severe economic strains. This is particularly the case for oil exporters whose near-term prospects have worsened significantly in recent months. Sub-Saharan Africa remains a region of immense economic potential, but policy adjustment in the hardest-hit countries needs to be enacted promptly to allow for a growth rebound.

Hoe Ee Khor, Mr. Roger P. Kronenberg, and Ms. Patrizia Tumbarello

Abstract

Pacific island countries face unique challenges to realizing their growth potential and raising living standards. This book discusses ongoing challenges facing Pacific island countries and policy options to address them. Regional cooperation and solutions tailored to their unique challenges, as well as further integration with the Asia and Pacific region will each play a role. With concerted efforts, Pacific island countries can boost potential growth, increase resilience, and improve the welfare of their citizens.

Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper employs a dynamic multi-country framework to analyze the international macroeconomic transmission of El Niño weather shocks. This framework comprises 21 country/region-specific models, estimated over the period 1979Q2 to 2013Q1, and accounts for not only direct exposures of countries to El Niño shocks but also indirect effects through thirdmarkets. We contribute to the climate-macroeconomy literature by exploiting exogenous variation in El Niño weather events over time, and their impact on different regions crosssectionally, to causatively identify the effects of El Niño shocks on growth, inflation, energy and non-fuel commodity prices. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to El Niño shocks. While Australia, Chile, Indonesia, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa face a short-lived fall in economic activity in response to an El Niño shock, for other countries (including the United States and European region), an El Niño occurrence has a growth-enhancing effect. Furthermore, most countries in our sample experience short-run inflationary pressures as both energy and non-fuel commodity prices increase. Given these findings, macroeconomic policy formulation should take into consideration the likelihood and effects of El Niño weather episodes.
International Monetary Fund
Thailand is recovering from a challenging year marked by natural disasters of historic magnitude. This 2012 Article IV Consultation highlights that positive signs of a recovery are already under way with sharp improvements seen in high frequency indicators since December 2011. Executive Directors have commended the Thai authorities for their policy response to last year’s floods, which propelled the strong recovery under way. Directors have also supported the authorities’ ambitious reform agenda aimed at promoting more inclusive growth.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The five Regional Economic Outlooks published biannually by the IMF cover Asia and Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. In each volume, recent economic developments and prospects for the region are discussed as a whole, as well as for specific countries. The reports include key data for countries in the region. Each report focuses on policy developments that have affected economic performance in the region, and discusses key challenges faced by policymakers. The near-term outlook, key risks, and their related policy challenges are analyzed throughout the reports, and current issues are explored, such as when and how to withdraw public interventions in financial systems globally while maintaining a still-fragile economic recovery.These indispensable surveys are the product of comprehensive intradepartmental reviews of economic developments that draw primarily on information the IMF staff gathers through consultation with member countries.