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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is set to enjoy a modest growth uptick. The average growth rate in the region is projected to rise from 2.8 percent in 2017 to 3.4 percent in 2018, with growth accelerating in about two-thirds of the countries in the region. The growth pickup has been driven largely by a more supportive external environment, including stronger global growth, higher commodity prices, and improved market access. While external imbalances have narrowed, the record on fiscal consolidation has been mixed and vulnerabilities are rising: about 40 percent of low-income countries in the region are now assessed as being in debt distress or at high risk of debt distress. On current policies, average growth in the region is expected to plateau below 4 percent—barely 1 percent in per capita terms— over the medium term, highlighting the need for deliberate actions to boost growth potential.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Domestic revenue mobilization is one of the most pressing policy challenges facing sub-Saharan African countries. While the reasons may vary according to country-specific circumstances, there are three aspects of domestic revenue mobilization that make it so important.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Private investment in sub-Saharan Africa is low compared with other countries with similar levels of economic development. The low level of private investment is constraining the region’s efforts to improve social outcomes by holding back labor productivity and the resulting gains in real wages and households’ income. In general, there appears to be a negative association between investment and poverty rates (Figure 3.1). The benefits from increasing investment are well recognized in the region. For example, many countries have engaged in major public investment programs to close large infrastructure gaps with a view to catalyzing private investment. But such a strategy can only be sustained for a limited amount of time, particularly if the private sector growth response is weak. With debt levels high and rising in many countries in the region, there is an increased focus on other options. Countries are participating in external investment initiatives such as the Group of Twenty’s (G20) Compact with Africa, which coordinates efforts to facilitate private investment and increase the provision of infrastructure, and China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to help the region better integrate into global value chains. These initiatives aim to spur private and public investment by improving the business environment and by increasing the availability of financing. These efforts could improve the availability and allocation of resources for investment, and thus have the potential to raise medium-term growth prospects and living standards.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix paper on Bosnia and Herzegovina provides background information for the 1999 Article IV Consultation with Bosnia and Herzegovina. The economy has been dominated by a small number of large state-owned enterprises. A central policy was settled during the preparation of the privatization framework under which the competence to privatize was assigned to the entities. Major tax policy reforms will be needed over the medium term to address the deficiencies of the present tax system, and to lay the foundation for long-term economic growth, driven mainly by private sector development.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper reviews empirical evidence on the main determinants of the real bilateral exchange rate between the Canadian and the U.S. dollars, with particular emphasis on the role played by cyclical and longer-term economic factors. The paper aims to identify the nature of the shocks that have contributed to the recent downward trend in the Canadian dollar. The analysis shows that fluctuations in the real bilateral exchange rate can be explained reasonably well by its long-term fundamentals. The paper also analyzes inflation and the natural rate of unemployment in Canada.

International Monetary Fund

This Selected Issues paper reviews Canada’s business tax system, looking at the incentive effects of the country’s business tax regime and their implications for output and employment. It presents estimates of marginal effective tax rates on corporate-source income in Canada and comparator countries across sectors, asset classes, means of finance, and asset ownership. The paper also examines labor markets in Canada. It notes that unemployment rates in Canada have risen across all demographic groups, industries, and regions, although young and less-educated workers and workers in agriculture and primary industries have been most severely affected.

Mr. George A Mackenzie, Mr. Philip R. Gerson, and Mr. David William Harold Orsmond

Abstract

This study examines the composition of fiscal adjustment - tax and expenditure policies and administrative procedures, and some aspects of public enterprise reform - in a sample of eight countries (Bangladesh, Chile, Ghana, India, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, and Thailand) during a period of fiscal reform (usually 1978-93), to determine whether and to what extent the fiscal reforms fostered growth during the adjustment period.

International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.

Selected Issues and Analytical Notes