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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper examines recent performance and reform agenda for Cameroon’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Cameroon’s SOEs are important providers of formal employment and have a large weight in the economy. The profitability and financial autonomy of SOEs have deteriorated in recent years, draining scarce budget resources. In addition, SOEs have amassed significant contingent liabilities in the form of debt and arrears. Weak corporate governance is a key factor in SOEs’ poor performance. The reform agenda should include enhancing the monitoring of SOEs, improving disclosure of their contingent liabilities, and strengthening their governance.
Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro, Ms. Darlena Tartari Schwegler, and Carlos Caceres
This paper analyses inflation dynamics in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) using a constructed dataset for country-specific commodity price indices and panel cointegrated vector autoregressive (VAR) models. Imported commodity price shocks are significant in explaining inflation in the region. Governments are another driving force of inflation dynamics mainly through controlled prices and the role of capital expenditure in domestic activity. In most CEMAC countries, the largest effect of global food and fuel prices occurs after four or five quarters in noncore inflation and then decays substantially over time. Second-round effects are significant only in Cameroon and to a lesser extent in the Republic of Congo.
International Monetary Fund

In this study, Cameroon’s economic recovery, low inflation, and positive economic prospects have been ascribed. Efforts to improve non-oil revenue by broadening the tax base, streamlining exemptions, and increasing the efficiency of tax and customs administration are outlined. The need to rebuild fiscal buffers, strengthen the budget execution process, and accelerate efforts to operationalize the medium-term expenditure framework are emphasized. The importance of redoubling efforts to address the severe infrastructure gap and improve the business climate and competitiveness are also provided.

Ms. Anne Marie Gulde and Mr. Charalambos G Tsangarides

Abstract

About one-third of countries covered by the IMF's African Department are members of the CFA franc zone. With most other countries moving away from fixed exchange rates, the issue of an adequate policy framework to ensure the sustainability of the CFA franc zone is clearly of interest to policymakers and academics. However, little academic research exists in the public domain. This book aims to fill this void by bringing together work undertaken in the context of intensified regional surveillance and highlighting the current challenges and the main policy requirements if the arrangements are to be carried forward. The book is based on empirical research by a broad group of IMF economists, with contributions from several outside experts.

International Monetary Fund

Cameroonian monetary developments in the first half of 2007 continued to be driven by high oil prices while inflation declined. Fiscal performance in the first half of 2007 was broadly satisfactory, although concerns about investment execution remain. Performance under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)-supported program over January-June 2007 was mixed, but corrective actions have been taken. The medium-term fiscal strategy aims at expanding priority spending while preserving macroeconomic sustainability. The authorities agreed that non-oil revenue mobilization remained key to ensuring fiscal sustainability.

International Monetary Fund

This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that a number of factors have constrained Cameroon’s growth potential relative to the group of lower-middle-income economies, including lower investment rate, shallower financial depth, less open trade; weaker infrastructure and human capital base; and weaker business environment. Growth picked up somewhat in 2006, following a rebound in construction activities, oil output, and forestry production. The outlook for 2007 and the medium term is encouraging. Economic activity is expected to pick up further in 2007, reflecting stronger performance in the forestry, construction and tertiary sectors.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Provides a broad synopsis of recent economic developments in the Middle East and Central Asia region, highlighting common trends and policies among countries in the region, and reviewing prospects and policies for the coming year. Includes a statistical appendix.

Mr. Prakash Loungani and Mr. Phillip L Swagel
This paper develops stylized facts about the inflation process in developing countries, focusing particularly on the relationship between the exchange rate regime and the sources of inflation. Using annual data from 1964 to 1998 for 53 developing countries, we find that money growth and exchange rate changes-factors typically related to fiscal influences-are far more important in countries with floating exchange rate regimes than in those with fixed exchange rates. Instead, inertial factors dominate the inflation process in developing countries with fixed exchange rate regimes.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Staff Papers draws on IMF Working Papers, which are research studies by members of the Fund’s staff. A list of Working Papers issued in 1997:4 follows:

Mr. James M. Boughton
The CFA franc zone comprises a group of countries in central and west Africa whose currencies have been firmly linked to the French franc since 1948. It combines the features of a currency union with those of an exchange rate peg, and an analysis of its effectiveness must examine both dimensions. Viewed from the perspective of a currency union among the African countries, it would appear that the zone would not constitute an optimum currency area. But when France is viewed as an integral part of the system, the benefits—including discipline, credibility, and stability in international competitiveness—become clearer.