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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.


Oil exporters in the Middle East and North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan region (MENAP) are continuing to adjust to lower oil prices, which have dampened growth and contributed to large fiscal and external deficits.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses Bangladesh’s Fifth and Sixth Reviews Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement. The current ECF arrangement, approved in April 2012, is drawing to a close. Over its three years, macroeconomic stability has been buttressed: growth is strong, inflation has eased, the public debt-to-GDP ratio has remained stable, and foreign reserves remain adequate. Progress on revenue mobilization, however, has been weak. Political uncertainty remains a key risk to the outlook. All performance criteria for the combined reviews have been met, all prior actions have been completed, and macroeconomic stability has been maintained. The IMF staff recommends completion of the combined reviews.
Mr. Valerio Crispolti, Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Jun I Kim, Ms. Kazuko Shirono, and Mr. George C. Tsibouris


Low-income countries routinely experience exogenous disturbances—sharp swings in the terms of trade, export demand, natural disasters, and volatile financial flows—that contribute to higher volatility in aggregate output and consumption compared with other countries. Assessing Reserve Adequacy in Low-Income Countries presents the findings of an analysis of a range of external shocks faced by these countries, beginning with a discussion of the impact of external shocks on macroeconomic growth, volatility, and welfare. Although sound macroeconomic and prudential policy frameworks are the first line of defense for limiting vulnerability, international reserves constitute the main form of self-insurance against such shocks. The evidence suggests that low-income countries with reserve coverage above three months of imports were better able to smooth consumption and absorption in the face of external shocks compared with those with lower reserve holdings. The analysis also points to the importance of country characteristics and vulnerabilities in assessing reserve adequacy.

International Monetary Fund
Trade was also initially undermined by a severe recession. Kazakhstan is facing increased challenges from higher global commodity prices. Against this background, an encompassing policy response is needed to control inflation and mitigate the scope for second-round price effects. The increase of trade openness in the 2000s coincided with Kazakhstan becoming a major oil producer and exporter. A number of issues still need to be resolved to achieve free trade of goods and services within the borders of the union.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.


The Regional Economic Outlook assesses the near-term outlook for each of the three subregions: the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (MENAP) oil exporters, the MENAP oil importers, and the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA). The report also looks at medium-term issues of particular concern to the region, namely the need to boost competitiveness and growth to address high levels of long-standing unemployment in the MENAP region, and enhance the effectiveness of monetary policy and regional cooperation in the CCA.

Kun Li and Pablo Lopez Murphy
We study historical tax revenue downturn episodes—where tax revenue-to-GDP ratios decline sharply—and explore the link between tax revenues and imports. We document that downturn episodes of at least 1 percentage point of GDP in one year are common. The tax types that account for these episodes are different in advanced, emerging and developing, and oil producing countries. We find that tax revenue downturns and import contractions have a statistically significant link. Finally, we show that changes in imports are a statistically significant determinant of changes in tax revenues even when controlling for changes in the output gap and in the terms of trade.
International Monetary Fund
Russia’s large oil and gas reserves play a key role in its economic development. As with many other large oil exporters, Russia’s energy wealth is also posing numerous challenges to macroeconomic management. Although fiscal policy has saved a large part of the oil windfall in the Oil Stabilization Fund (OSF), this has not been guided by a consistent long-term framework. The framework is illustrated with numerical simulations of different fiscal spending rules that are consistent with sustainable paths of consumption out of oil and gas wealth over time.
Mr. Azim M Sadikov, Mr. Hans P Lankes, Mr. Dustin Smith, Ms. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek, and Mr. Jean-Jacques Hallaert
The paper contributes to the discussion about the revenue implications of trade reform by assessing the approximate fiscal revenue impact of different liberalization formulae under consideration in multilateral trade negotiations for a group of low- and middle-income countries. The study applies a linear optimization framework to data for bound tariffs, applied tariffs, and imports at the HS-6 digit level for 58 developing countries, and simulates results for different sets of import demand elasticities and developing country "flexibilities." While only a small number of countries face a significant impact, results point toward the need for complementary fiscal measures in the countries most affected by revenue loss.