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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe: Request for a 40-month Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses São Tomé and Príncipe’s 2018 Article IV Consultation, Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility, Request for Waivers for Nonobservance of Performance Criteria, and Financing Assurances Review. São Tomé and Príncipe’s GDP growth in 2017 is estimated at about 4 percent, similar to the previous two years. Inflation spiked to 7.7 percent at end 2017, caused by unfavorable weather conditions and an increase in import taxes on selective goods. Fiscal consolidation continued albeit at a slower pace than expected. The macroeconomic outlook is positive. Growth is expected to remain at 4 percent in 2018 and to accelerate to 5 percent in the medium term as new externally-financed projects get under way.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Third and Fourth Reviews under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement, Extension of the Arrangement, and Modification of Performance Criteria-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Democratic Republic of S�o Tom� and Pr�ncipe

International Monetary Fund
The HIPC Initiative and MDRI are nearly complete with 35 countries having already reached the completion point under the HIPC Initiative. One country, Chad, remains in the interim phase. Debt relief under the Initiatives has substantially alleviated debt burdens in recipient countries and has enabled them to increase their poverty-reducing expenditure by two and a half percentage points between 2001 and 2013. Creditor participation in the Initiative has been strong amongst the multilateral and Paris Club creditors; however participation from the other creditor groups still needs to be strengthened. The total cost of debt relief to creditors under the HIPC Initiative is currently estimated to be US$75.0 billion, while the costs to the four multilateral creditors providing relief under the MDRI is estimated to be US$41.1 billion in end-2013 present value terms.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This paper discusses the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe’s First Review under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement. The economy remains vulnerable to external and domestic shocks. Growth decelerated to 4 percent in 2012, reflecting persistent global uncertainties, particularly in Europe, which contributed to a slowdown in foreign direct investment, and in the execution of the foreign-financed public investment program. Commercial banks profitability and capital-to-risk weighted assets ratio declined in 2012, reflecting more challenging lending conditions. The central bank continues to strengthen its banking supervision function through on-site inspections and enforcement of banking regulation.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris and Yasemin Bal Gunduz
This paper develops a new index which provides early warning signals of a growth crisis in the event of large external shocks in low-income countries. Multivariate regression analysis and a univariate signaling approach are used to map information from a parsimonious set of underlying policy, structural, and institutional indicators into a composite vulnerability index. The results show that vulnerabilities to a growth crisis in low-income countries declined significantly from their peaks in the early 1990s, but have risen in recent years as fiscal policy buffers were expended in the wake of the global financial crisis.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

This year looks set to be another encouraging one for most sub-Saharan African economies. Reflecting mainly strong demand but also elevated commodity prices, the region's economy is set to expand by more than 5¼ percent in 2011. For 2012, the IMF staff's baseline projection is for growth to be higher at 5¾ percent, owing to one-off boosts to production in a number of countries. There are, however, specters at the feast: the increase in global food and fuel prices, amplified by drought affecting parts of the region, has hit the budgets of the poor and sparked rising inflation, and hesitations in the global recovery threaten to weaken export and growth prospects. The projection for 2012 for the region is highly contingent on global economic growth being sustained at about 4 percent. A further slowing of growth in advanced economies, curtailing global demand, would generate significant headwinds for the region's ongoing expansion, with more globally integrated countries likely to be most affected. Policies in the coming months need to tread a fine line between addressing the challenges that strong growth and recent exogenous shocks have engendered and warding off the adverse effects of another global downturn. In some slower-growing, mostly middle-income countries without binding financial constraints, policies should clearly remain supportive of output growth, even more so if global growth sputters. Provided the global economy experiences the currently predicted slow and steady growth, most of the region's low-income countries should focus squarely on medium-term considerations in setting fiscal policy while tightening monetary policy wherever nonfood inflation has climbed above single digits. In the event of a global downturn, subject to financing constraints, policies in these countries should focus on maintaining planned spending initiatives, while allowing automatic stabilizers to operate on the revenue side. For the region's oil exporters, better terms of trade provide a good opportunity to build up policy buffers against further price volatility.

Ms. Katrin Elborgh-Woytek and Robert Gregory

This issue of F&D looks at the growing role of emerging markets. Analysis by the IMF's Ayhan Kose and Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University, argues that their economic ascendance will enable emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, and Russia to play a more significant part in global economic governance and take on more responsibility for economic and financial stability. And Vivek Arora and Athanasios Vamvakidis measure how China's economy is increasingly affecting the rest of the world not just its neighbors and main trading partners. In addition, F&D examines a variety of topics that are particularly relevant as the world struggles to shake off the crisis. Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi look at the positive effects of stimulus in the United States. Without it, they say, the United States would still be in recession. IMF researchers look at how countries can get debt under control, and what happens when government debt is downgraded. Other articles examine the human costs of unemployment, how inequality can lead over time to financial crisis, and what changes in the way banks do business could mean for the financial system. Two articles look at Islamic banking, which was put to the test during the global crisis and proved its mettle, and in Faces of the Crisis Revisited, we continue to track how the recession affected several individuals around the world. This issue of F&D profiles Princeton economic theorist Avinash Dixit in the regular People in Economics feature, and Back to Basics looks at externalities.

International Monetary Fund

This paper presents the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe’s first review under the Three Year Arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement. After averaging 6 percent a year over several years, real GDP growth in 2009 is estimated at 4 percent, reflecting a decline in foreign direct investment (FDI), which in part reflected the impact of the global crisis. Growth is expected to rebound in 2010, based on new FDI and increased official external financing.