This paper studies whether fiscal policy plays a stabilizing role in the context of import food price shocks. More precisely, the paper assesses whether fiscal policy dampens the adverse effect of import food price shocks on household consumption. Based on a panel of 70 low and middle-income countries over the period 1980-2012, the paper finds that import price shocks negatively and significantly affect household consumption, but this effect appears to be mitigated by discretionary government consumption, notably through government subsidies and transfers. The results are particularly robust for African countries and countries with less flexible exchange rate regimes.
This paper focuses on The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia’s Requests for Purchasing Under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), Debt Relief Under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust, Rephasing of Access Under the Three-Year Arrangements Under the Extended Credit Facility and the Extended Fund Facility, and Reduction of Access Under the Extended Fund Facility Arrangement. Ethiopia is facing a pronounced economic slowdown and an urgent balance of payments need owing to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The authorities have taken strong actions to contain the health impact by implementing a mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers entering the country, improving testing and containment capacity, strengthening epidemic response coordination and adopting a state of emergency to limit movement and gatherings and facilitate social distancing. Ethiopia showed good progress under the extended arrangements with the IMF, which aim to address external vulnerabilities and transition to a private sector-led growth model. The authorities remain committed to the reform program. The IMF staff supports the authorities’ plan to accommodate COVID-related fiscal measures, and to resume the fiscal adjustment when the crisis subsides. In order to contain the upward pressure on public debt, the authorities should consider further tightening the spending envelope for state-owned enterprises not directly engaged in the COVID-19 emergency response.
This IMF Staff Report for 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Ethiopia has recorded annual average GDP growth of about ten percent in the last decade, driven by public investments in agriculture and infrastructure. The poverty rate has fallen from 44 percent in 2000 to 23.5 percent in 2015/16. In 2016/17 GDP growth is estimated at 9 percent, as agriculture rebounded from severe drought conditions in 2015/16. Industrial activity expanded, with continued investments in infrastructure and manufacturing. The current account deficit declined in 2016/17 to 8.2 percent of GDP. Over the medium term, growth is expected to remain about 8 percent, supported by sustained expansion in exports and investment.
Vito Amendolagine, Mr. Andrea F Presbitero, Roberta Rabellotti, Marco Sanfilippo, and Adnan Seric
The local sourcing of intermediate products is one the main channels for foreign direct investment (FDI) spillovers. This paper investigates whether and how participation and positioning in the global value chains (GVCs) of host countries is associated to local sourcing by foreign investors. Matching two firm-level data sets of 19 Sub-Saharan African countries and Vietnam to country-sector level measures of GVC involvement, we find that more intense GVC participation and upstream specialization are associated to a higher share of inputs sourced locally by foreign investors. These effects are larger in countries with stronger rule of law and better education.
This paper is the third in a series assessing macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income developing countries (LIDCs). The first of these papers (IMF, 2014a) examined trends during 2000–2014, a period of sustained strong growth across most LIDCs. The second paper (IMF, 2015a) focused on the impact of the drop in global commodity prices since mid-2014 on LIDCs—a story with losers (countries dependent on commodity exports, notably fuel) and winners (countries with a more diverse export base, where growth remained robust).
The overarching theme in this paper’s assessment of the macroeconomic conjuncture among LIDCs is that of incomplete adjustment to the new world of “lower for long” commodity prices, with many commodity exporters still far from a sustainable macroeconomic trajectory (Chapter 1). The analysis of risks and vulnerabilities focuses on financial sector stresses and medium-term fiscal risks, pointing to the actions, including capacity building, needed to manage and contain these challenges over time (Chapter 2). With 2016 the first year of the march towards the 2030 development goals, the paper also looks at how infrastructure investment can be accelerated in LIDCs, given that weaknesses in public infrastructure (such as energy, transportation systems) in LIDCs are widely seen as a key constraint on medium-term growth potential (Chapter 3).
With the sharp adjustment in commodity prices now into its third year, some of the key messages of the paper are familiar: a) many commodity exporters, notably fuel producers, remain under significant economic stress, with sluggish growth, large fiscal imbalances, and weakened foreign reserve positions; b) countries with a more diversified export base are generally doing well, although several have been hit by declines in remittances, conflict/natural disasters, and the contractionary impact of macroeconomic stabilization programs; c) widening fiscal imbalances, in both commodity and diversified exporters, have resulted in rising debt levels, with severe financing stress emerging in some cases; and d) financial sector stresses have emerged in many LIDCs, with expectations that these strains will increase in many commodity exporters over the next 12–18 months. Key messages on financial sector oversight, on medium-term fiscal risks, and on tackling infrastructure gaps are flagged below.
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This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Ethiopia’s macroeconomic outturn during 2015/16 has been adversely affected by a severe drought and the weak global environment. As a result, output growth is estimated to have slowed down to 6.5 percent in 2015/16. The slowdown was mitigated by effective and timely policy responses to the drought, and buoyant industrial and services sectors. Over the medium-term, growth is projected to recover to within the 7.3–7.5 percent range, reflecting the growth-oriented reforms envisaged in the recently adopted second Growth and Transformation Plan. Public investment is projected to moderate, while private investment is projected to increase gradually.
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Ethiopia’s recent macroeconomic performance has continued to be strong overall, although with some rising domestic and external vulnerabilities. Economic growth in 2014/15 was buoyant, supported by booming manufacturing and construction sectors. However, inflation has been on the rise, with domestic food prices pushing it above 10 percent. External vulnerabilities have also increased as exports of goods and services slowed significantly, while imports continued growing fast. In the medium term, the IMF staff forecast strong growth at 7.5–8 percent. Public investment is expected to moderate, while private investment is projected to increase only gradually.