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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
Sierra Leone has made significant strides to rebuild its public infrastructure after the devastating civil war, but the desperate infrastructure needs remain. At the end of the conflict in 2002, the country was left with virtually no infrastructure. Redevelopment of public infrastructure was ignited by the mining boom, which started in the late 2000s. Over the period 2008−18, public investment averaged 6.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which has translated into an estimated capital stock of about 65 percent in constant 2011 GDP. However, a level of public investment is still lower than neighboring countries by about one percentage point. The level of capital stock per capita is one of the lowest in the region, only slightly above that of Liberia. Some districts still have no paved roads, no electricity, and no water systems, almost 20 years after the war.
Mr. Marshall B Reinsdorf
COVID-19 changed consumers’ spending patterns, making the CPI weights suddenly obsolete. In most regions, adjusting the CPI weights to account for the changes in spending patterns increases the estimate of inflation over the early months of the pandemic. Under-weighting of rising food prices and over-weighting of falling transport prices are the main causes of the underestimation of inflation. Updated CPI weights should be developed as soon as is feasible, but flux in spending patterns during the pandemic complicates the development as quickly as 2021 of weights that represent post-pandemic spending patterns.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept.
This Technical Assistance Mission has been undertaken to support the Bank of South Sudan (BSS) in improving external sector statistics (ESS). The recommendations made during the 2018 mission for the recording of oil exports and transactions with Sudan under the Transitional Financial Agreement were implemented by the BSS. The mission worked toward enhancing the inter-agency cooperation by meeting with selected public sector bodies, providing them with an overview of the balance of payments and the data that the BSS will request from them. Before the end of the mission, requested data from one of the entities, the Civil Aviation Authority was provided. A work program was developed to conduct a visitor expenditure survey and a preliminary International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity template was submitted to IMF’s Statistics Department for review. In order to support progress in the various work areas, the mission recommended a detailed one-year action plan, with the several priority recommendations carrying weight to make headway in improving ESS reliability.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper quantifies the short- and medium-term growth effects of major ongoing highway and railway projects in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. A standard neoclassical growth model is augmented with public capital to capture both demand and supply-side effects of public infrastructure investments. The calibrated model suggests that the four ongoing highway and railway investments of 2–3 percent of GDP annually for 2014–18 are likely to raise the growth rate of real GDP by 0.5 percentage points on average for each year in 2014–20. Enhancing public investment efficiency can increase growth effects up to 0.8 percentage points.
Cem Karayalcin and Mihaela Pintea
The process of economic development is characterized by substantial reallocations of resources across sectors. In this paper, we construct a multi-sector model in which there are barriers to the movement of labor from low-productivity traditional agriculture to modern sectors. With the barrier in place, we show that improvements in productivity in modern sectors (including agriculture) or reductions in transportation costs may lead to a rise in agricultural employment and through terms-oftrade effects may harm subsistence farmers if the traditional subsistence sector is larger than a critical level. This suggests that policy advice based on the earlier literature needs to be revised. Reducing barriers to mobility (through reductions in the cost of skill acquisition and institutional changes) and improving the productivity of subsistence farmers needs to precede policies designed to increase the productivity of modern sectors or decrease transportation costs.
Mr. Nikoloz Gigineishvili, Mr. Paolo Mauro, and Ke Wang
Is rapid economic growth experienced by the East African Community during the past decade built on solid foundations? To gain some clues, we use a variety of newly-collected and existing data sources to analyze the structural transformation of output and exports, as well as indicators of their quality and sophistication. The move from agriculture to a wide range of other sectors—bodes well for continued growth, as do gradual improvements in quality. Yet, no clear winners on the production side seem to have emerged, to embed a durable comparative advantage in international markets. These observations may instill a note of caution against projecting rapid growth into the distant future.
International Monetary Fund
The Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II (MGDS-II) is a poverty reduction strategy for the period 2006–11, which is aimed at fulfilling Malawi’s future developmental aspiration—Vision 2020. The strategy identifies broad thematic areas and key priority areas to bring about sustained economic growth. A striking feature of this strategy is that the various governmental organizations, private sector, and general public are equal stakeholders. However, successful implementation of MGDS-II will largely depend on sound macroeconomic management and a stable political environment.