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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a substantial impact on C.A.R.’s economy but appears now somewhat contained. The number of positive cases and related deaths has been very limited over the last few months, even though most containment measures have been progressively loosened. Despite some progress since the February 2019 peace agreement, the security situation remains precarious. Despite some delays in voter registration, the first round of the presidential and general elections is still scheduled on December 27.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses Grenada’s Request for Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. IMF financing support provides resources to the countries’ authorities for essential health-related expenditures and income support to ease the impact of coronavirus disease 2019 on the population. The countries’ governments have responded to the pandemic by swiftly implementing containment measures, allocating scarce budgetary resources to critical health care spending, and introducing income support to the most affected sectors and households. Protection of the financial system will help cushion the economic impact of the pandemic. Measures have also been taken by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank to facilitate the provision of credit and safeguard financial stability. Going forward, and once the current crisis dissipates, the authorities intend to push ahead with a comprehensive Disaster Resilience Strategy aimed at building resilience to natural disasters. They are also committed to further strengthening financial sector oversight to safeguard macro-financial stability.
Dong Frank Wu and Mr. Friedrich Schneider
This paper is the first attempt to directly explore the long-run nonlinear relationship between the shadow economy and level of development. Using a dataset of 158 countries over the period from 1996 to 2015, our results reveal a robust U-shaped relationship between the shadow economy size and GDP per capita. Our results imply that the shadow economy tends to increase when economic development surpasses a given threshold or at least does not disappear. Our findings suggest that special attention should be given to the country’s level of development when designing policies to tackle issues related to the shadow economy.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Tunisia’s economic growth almost doubled to 1.9 percent in 2017, as confidence strengthened on the back of improved security and the unity government’s early progress with policy and reform implementation. Investment and exports remained sluggish, however. Growth is expected to reach 2.4 percent in 2018, helped by a good agricultural season and a pickup in manufacturing and tourism. The unemployment rate remains high at 15 percent. Trade data for early 2018 show an improvement in export performance, while import growth is slowing. This favorable trend is expected to continue throughout the remainder of the year, supported by a more favorable real exchange rate.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper presents an overview of the macroeconomic condition of Tunisia. Tunisia has managed to preserve macroeconomic stability and initiate fiscal and banking reforms in a context marked by a prolonged political transition, spillovers from the crisis in Libya, and numerous exogenous shocks, including terror attacks. However, important vulnerabilities remain: economic activity is weak, employment is low, social tensions linger, spending composition has deteriorated, and external imbalances are high. To tackle these issues, Tunisia formulated a five-year (2016–20) economic vision in 2015, which is being developed into a detailed plan. The vision aims at promoting stronger and more inclusive growth in Tunisia.
International Monetary Fund
The Arab Countries in Transition (ACTs) have had diverging trajectories over the past year and face an uncertain outlook.1 Improvements in the European economy, lower oil prices, and some progress on the policy front have provided tailwinds to growth, which is expected to pick up significantly in Egypt and Morocco. At the same time, unemployment remains high. Moreover, several of the ACTs have also suffered from intensifying and spreading conflicts that cause widespread human suffering and sizeable economic challenges. Libya and Yemen are directly affected, while spillovers from these conflicts and the civil wars in Iraq and Syria weigh on Jordan and Tunisia, as well as other countries in the region (e.g., Lebanon, Djibouti), Turkey and Europe. These spillovers come most prominently in the form of large refugee flows, deteriorating security, and pressures on economic infrastructures and labor markets. All these factors add urgency to the need in the Arab countries to strengthen economic resilience and address long-standing sources of inequity and exclusion. Coordinated and scaled-up support from the international community will be also critical in stabilizing conditions in the region, addressing the refugee crisis, and securing a more promising economic future for the ACTs in this challenging environment.