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Abstract

Edited by Said El-Naggar, this book contains six papers presented at a seminar held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, under the sponsorship of the Arab Monetary Fund and the IMF. The papers address the issues of adjustment and development in the Arab World, including the role of the IMF and the World Bank, and include case studies on Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.

Abstract

This Selected Issues paper discusses the assessment of economic activity in Togo in absence of quarterly GDP series. Togo collects about 40 macroeconomic indicators monthly that span a wide range of sectors of the economy. The selection of the variables for the economic activity index is conducted by finding the combination of variables. The indicators are aggregated into an index using a methodology used by the Conference Board. Then an economic activity index is constructed that effectively replicates the historical growth rates of real GDP in Togo. The selected index minimizes the deviations between the growth rates of the indicator and actual real GDP growth over 2002–13.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper analyzes why the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has lagged in growth and globalization. Despite attempts to spur recovery and initiate structural reforms, many countries in the region remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration with the rest of the world. The benefits from oil failed to generate a sustained growth dynamic or bring about greater regional economic integration. The paper highlights that the slowdown in economic reforms is a key factor for the economic depression in the MENA region.

Mr. Adam Bennett

This paper analyzes why the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has lagged in growth and globalization. Despite attempts to spur recovery and initiate structural reforms, many countries in the region remain on a slow growth path, effectively sidelined from globalization and the benefits of closer economic integration with the rest of the world. The benefits from oil failed to generate a sustained growth dynamic or bring about greater regional economic integration. The paper highlights that the slowdown in economic reforms is a key factor for the economic depression in the MENA region.

International Monetary Fund

The Arab Republic of Egypt’s 2005 Article IV Consultation reports that the externally driven recovery has gained steam underpinned by a moderate revival in consumption and improved confidence. The Egyptian pound has appreciated, the stock market has reached record highs, and the current account surplus has increased, enabling banks and the Central Bank of Egypt to strengthen their net foreign asset position. The monetary policy did not contain inflation below double-digit rates, and government borrowing and debt remained high.

International Monetary Fund
The Arab Republic of Egypt’s 2005 Article IV Consultation reports that the externally driven recovery has gained steam underpinned by a moderate revival in consumption and improved confidence. The Egyptian pound has appreciated, the stock market has reached record highs, and the current account surplus has increased, enabling banks and the Central Bank of Egypt to strengthen their net foreign asset position. The monetary policy did not contain inflation below double-digit rates, and government borrowing and debt remained high.
Ms. Rina Bhattacharya
This paper explores the linkages between external sector reforms and public enterprise restructuring, paying attention to the role of the financial sector in ensuring the success of these reforms in the context of a comprehensive medium-term structural adjustment program. It discusses the arguments made in the academic literature on this issue, and analyzes how some countries—namely Algeria, Egypt, and Poland—have tackled reforms in these areas.
Shahid Yusuf
Since the onset of the Arab Spring, economic uncertainty in Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen (Arab Countries in Transition, ACTs) has slowed already sluggish growth; worsened unemployment, particularly of youth; undermined business confidence, affected tourist arrivals, and depressed domestic and foreign direct investment. Furthermore, political and social tensions have constrained reform efforts. Assessing policy options as presented in the voluminous literature on the Arab Spring and based on cross-country experience, this paper concludes that sustainable and inclusive growth calls for a two pronged approach: short term measures that revive growth momentum and partially allay popular concerns; complemented with efforts to adjust the public’s expectations and prepare the ground for structural reforms that will deliver the desired longer tem performance.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is an economically diverse region that shares a common cultural and institutional heritage as well (see box, page 4).

José C. Sánchiz

The united arab republic (U.A.R) is an example of a country where the interpretation and comparability of money and banking statistics are made difficult by the fact that, within the last few years, several major changes have taken place in the status and coverage of the banking system.1