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International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2019 Article IV Consultation with Russian Federation discusses that growth is projected at 1.2 percent in 2019, reflecting a weak first quarter estimate, lower oil prices and the impact of the higher value-added tax rate on private consumption. At the same time, gross domestic product growth should be supported by an increase in public sector spending in the context of the national projects announced in 2018. Inflation has begun to fall and is expected to return to the 4 percent target by early 2020. The medium-term growth outlook remains modest. Public infrastructure spending under the national projects together with increase labor supply due to pension reform could have a positive effect on the growth rate of potential output. However, absent deeper structural reforms, long-run growth is projected to settle around 1.8 percent. It is recommended that it is imperative to enhance competition by facilitating entry/exit and reforming public procurement.
Ms. Olga Ilinichna Stankova
The paper provides an overall view of communications across various areas of economic policy, aiming to help country authorities as they increasingly use communications as a policy tool in its own right. The paper identifies frontier communications challenges, drawing on a large body of research on the salient issues. Although communications can never be a substitute for good policies, economic reforms are more likely to fail or even be reversed if they are not understood or accepted by those whom they affect.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Russian economy stabilized in 2016, contracting by just 0.2 percent of GDP, after being hit in 2014 by the dual shocks of lower oil prices and sanctions. The more stable oil prices and improved financial conditions will support a return to growth in 2017, with an expected increase in real GDP of 1.4 percent. Growth is forecast to continue at 1.4 percent in 2018. With adverse demographics, and barring significant structural reforms that lifts productivity, potential growth is likely to stay at about 1.50 percent over the medium term. The main risk to the outlook remains a fall in oil prices.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that Lebanon’s economic growth remains subdued. Following a sharp drop in 2011, growth edged upward briefly to 2–3 percent, but has now slowed again. The IMF staff estimates that GDP increased by 1 percent in 2015, and a similar growth rate in 2016 is projected. Lebanon’s traditional growth drivers—tourism, real estate, and construction—have received a significant blow and a strong rebound is unlikely based on current trends. In the absence of a turnaround in confidence, or a resolution of the Syrian conflict, growth is unlikely to return to potential (4 percent) soon.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes macrofinancial linkages in Equatorial Guinea. Insufficient fiscal consolidation in response to falling oil prices and production has translated into arrears accumulation, leading to a sharp deterioration in commercial banks’ balance sheets. Although banks’ capital and liquidity ratio appear adequate, profitability has been shrinking, owing to weak economic activity and decelerating credit supply. Moreover, recent stress tests reveal a high sensitivity to negative liquidity and asset quality shocks. Financial development remains lackluster, which hurts economic development and effective structural transformation. Finally, strong macrofinancial linkages compounded by regional subsidiary-parent interlinkages call for increased scrutiny.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This 2016 Article IV Consultation highlights that the Russian economy contracted by 3.7 percent in 2015 owing to falling oil prices and the quasi closure of international financial markets to Russian entities. The economic contraction is nonetheless shallower than previous recessions as a stronger external position and the authorities’ economic package cushioned the shocks, helped restore confidence and stabilized the financial system. Lower oil prices and needed fiscal adjustment will keep the economy in recession in 2016 with an expected decline in real GDP of 1.2 percent. Growth is expected to resume in 2017 and reach 1 percent, as domestic demand slowly recovers on the back of easing financial conditions and pent up demand.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

La croissance économique en Afrique subsaharienne est tombée en 2015 à son plus bas niveau depuis quinze ans, avec toutefois une grande disparité entre les pays de la région. La chute des cours des produits de base de ces dernières années a ébranlé beaucoup des plus grands pays d’Afrique subsaharienne, dont des pays exportateurs de pétrole tels que l'Angola et le Nigéria, et d'autres produits exportateurs de produits de base, tels que le Ghana, l'Afrique du Sud et la Zambie. La baisse des cours pétroliers a toutefois permis à d'autres pays de maintenir une croissance vigoureuse, dont le Kenya et le Sénégal. Dans de nombreux pays, il est urgent et essentiel de prendre des mesures robustes face aux chocs sur les termes de l'échange. Le rapport aborde également la vulnérabilité de l'Afrique subsaharienne face aux chocs sur les prix de base et note les avancées spectaculaires en matière de développement du secteur financier, et plus particulièrement dans le domaine des services financiers mobiles.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa as a whole has fallen to its lowest level in 15 years, though with large variation among countries in the region. The sharp decline in commodity prices has severely strained many of the largest economies, including oil exporters Angola and Nigeria, and other commodity exporters, such as Ghana, South Africa, and Zambia. At the same time, the decline in oil prices has helped other countries continue to show robust growth, including Kenya and Senegal. A strong policy response to the terms-of-trade shocks is critical and urgent in many countries. This report also examines sub-Saharan Africa’s vulnerability to commodity price shocks, and documents the substantial progress made in financial develop, especially financial services based on mobile technologies.

Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
China's GDP growth slowdown and a surge in global financial market volatility could both adversely affect an already weak global economic recovery. To quantify the global macroeconomic consequences of these shocks, we employ a GVAR model estimated for 26 countries/regions over the period 1981Q1 to 2013Q1. Our results indicate that (i) a one percent permanent negative GDP shock in China (equivalent to a one-off one percent growth shock) could have significant global macroeconomic repercussions, with world growth reducing by 0.23 percentage points in the short-run; and (ii) a surge in global financial market volatility could translate into a fall in world economic growth of around 0.29 percentage points, but it could also have negative short-run impacts on global equity markets, oil prices and long-term interest rates.