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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2018 Article IV Consultation highlights that Algeria continues to face important challenges posed by the fall in oil prices four years ago. Despite a sizeable fiscal consolidation in 2017, the fiscal and current account deficits remain large. Real GDP growth slowed sharply, mainly driven by a contraction in hydrocarbon production, although growth in the nonhydrocarbon sector was stable. Unemployment increased to 11.7 percent in September 2017 from 10.5 in September 2016 and remains particularly high among the youth and women. Average inflation declined from 6.4 percent in 2016 to 5.6 percent owing to slowing inflation for manufactured goods and services, and stood at 3.4 percent year-over-year in April 2018.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Algeria’s continued challenges posed by lower oil prices. Overall economic activity was resilient, but growth in the nonhydrocarbon sector slowed to 2.9 percent in 2016, partly under the effects of spending cuts. Inflation increased from 4.8 percent in 2015 to 6.4 percent in 2016 and stood at 7.7 percent year over year in February 2017. Unemployment was 10.5 percent in September 2016 and remains particularly high among youth (26.7 percent) and women (20.0 percent). Despite fiscal consolidation in 2016, the fiscal and current account deficits remained large, and public debt increased, reflecting in part the assumption of government-guaranteed debt. International reserves, while still ample, have declined rapidly.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper develops a structural macroeconomic model for Algeria that can help inform the discussion of the policy choices faced by the authorities. The model captures the core dynamics of Algeria’s macro-economy and provides an organizing framework for forecasting and policy analysis that can facilitate an assessment of the optimal policy responses to oil shocks and the implications for macroeconomic stability. This paper also examines Algeria’s main subsidies and proposes reform strategies, drawing on cross-country experiences, and discusses the channels through which a prolonged period of low oil prices may affect the banking sector, together with the policies needed to mitigate emerging financial stability risks.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses the recent economic developments, outlook, risks, and policies required to foster sustainable economic growth of Algeria. Growth was sustained in 2015 while inflation picked up. The budget deficit reached a record high in 2015 because of the collapse in hydrocarbon revenues and a significant fiscal expansion. Beyond 2016, the outlook hinges on the strength of the policy response to the oil price shock. The collapse in oil prices points to the urgent need to reshape Algeria’s growth model. Algeria needs to undertake ambitious and sustained consolidation combined with a critical mass of structural reforms to diversify its economy and promote private sector-led growth and job creation.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Context. On June 7, 2013, the Executive Board approved a 24-month Stand-By Arrangement in an amount equivalent to 400 percent of quota (SDR 1.146 billion or about $1.75 billion). To date, SDR 573 million equivalent to $877 million has been disbursed. The pillars of the program are to: (i) achieve short-term macroeconomic stability; (ii) lay the foundation for stronger and more inclusive growth; and (iii) protect the most vulnerable. Background. Progress in the political transition is leading to increased donor support this year, including from regional partners. On the economic front, growth remains timid, headline inflation has increased, and rising external imbalances have continued to put pressure on foreign reserves. Program implementation has been satisfactory. All quantitative performance criteria have been met. On the structural reform agenda, the authorities have made up for some key delays in areas that include reforming public banks, setting up a household support program, and the tax administration modernization agenda. Program strategy. Prudent fiscal policy, tighter monetary policy, and greater exchange rate flexibility need to be sustained and intensified to contain high external and fiscal deficits, anchor inflationary expectations, and bolster the still lackluster investors’ confidence. Important steps have been taken to strengthen the financial system, notably with the design of public bank restructuring plans, but implementation will be key. Progress on structural reforms—in particular, to improve the business climate—is critical for improving the conditions for private sector-led and inclusive growth. Risks to program implementation are important. Main risks relate to regional and domestic security tensions, setbacks in the political transition, and weaker economic activity in major trading partners. The implementation of program policies will continue to be tested by a difficult social environment and opposition from vested interests. The completion of the fourth review will make SDR 143.25 million (about $220 million) available.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This paper discusses key findings of the Financial System Stability Assessment on Algeria. The global crisis has had virtually no impact on Algeria’s financial system, which remains stable overall but thoroughly underdeveloped. Pervasive exchange controls, widespread public ownership, and an abundance of domestic funding have protected banks from external shocks. Financial sector reforms have been pushed to the backburner by the emergence of global financial and regional political turmoil, with privatization of banks halted and consumer lending suspended. The authorities have also made progress in a number of areas implementing the recommendations of the 2007 Financial Sector Assessment Program update.
Mr. Adolfo Barajas, Mr. Ralph Chami, and Mr. Seyed Reza Yousefi
A large theoretical and empirical literature has focused on the impact of financial deepening on economic growth throughout the world. This paper contributes to the literature by investigating whether this impact differs across regions, income levels, and types of economy. Using a rich dataset for 150 countries for the period 1975–2005, dynamic panel estimation results suggest that the beneficial effect of financial deepening on economic growth in fact displays measurable heterogeneity; it is generally smaller in oil exporting countries; in certain regions, such as the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); and in lower-income countries. Further analysis suggests that these differences might be driven by regulatory/supervisory characteristics and related to differences in the ability to provide widespread access to financial services.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The June 2008 issue tackles the crisis in financial markets in industrial countries from a number of angles. Articles look at the origins of the crisis in the subprime mortgage market in the United States and track its spillover into other markets. Then authors examine what can be done to prevent future crises. Other articles look at bank capital adequacy rules and Basel II, whether emerging markets and industrial economies are decoupling or converging, capital flows to low-income countries, efforts to achieve the MDGs, and currency intervention. Back to Basics looks at over-the-counter (OTC) markets and the People in Economics column profiles Jacques Polak. Picture This is on the digital divide.
International Monetary Fund
Algeria’s external position has strengthened. Algeria’s encouraging economic performances in recent years, reflecting market-oriented reforms and prudent macroeconomic policies in a favorable external environment, are discussed. The main challenges faced by Algeria are to ensure sustained high productivity and nonhydrocarbon growth and to lower further the still-high unemployment. In this context, Executive Directors' welcomed the recent increase in the reserve requirement rate. Gradual steps to reduce exemptions, improve VAT design, and eliminate the turnover tax would contribute importantly to improving the business climate.