Regional growth weakened in 2013 due to a fall in oil production in most countries. GDP growth is expected to pick-up in 2014 due to the recovery of oil production and the continuation of the implementation of public investment plans in most of CEMAC countries. Despite large spending of oil wealth during the last years, poverty, income inequality and unemployment remain high. The business climate is one of the most challenging in Africa. The region’s most pressing challenge is to implement structural reforms to promote sustainable and inclusive growth while adopting macro policies to preserve financial stability, ensure an efficient use of oil revenues and increase resilience to shocks.
A speech delivered by the IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) as part of the Institute's Europe Lecture Series in Berlin, Germany, on March 26, 2018.
Volume III, edited by Robert C. Effros, contains the collected views of banking and legal experts, gathered at the third IMF-sponsored seminar of central banks general counsels. Matters of both international and domestic concern are addressed. The contributors analyze topics covering developments in international financial institutions; the progress of the European Union toward monetary union and a unified banking and securities market; the economic reform of Latin America; the resolution of the debt crisis; and banking regulations and reform in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.
This paper assesses the evolution of Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) real exchange rates over time, and examines whether the region has lost competitiveness. The main finding is that there is little evidence of overvaluation of the Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar. The relationship summarized above permits the calculation of equilibrium current account balances or norms. The financing of ECCU current account imbalances appears stable. This paper also provides evidence on the distinctive impact that tourism plays in the determination of the real exchange rate in tourism-driven economies.
Mr. Jorge I Canales Kriljenko, Padamja Khandelwal, and Mr. Alexander Lehmann
We assess the current barriers to trade in financial services in the six Central American countries seeking a free trade agreement with the United States (the CAFTA) and examine the relative merits of regional and multilateral liberalization. Even though there are few formal barriers, deficiencies in regulatory and competition standards and in the judicial systems still restrict the participation of foreign institutions in the financial systems in the region. A greater presence of such institutions could support other objectives of trade and investment liberalization, though it would require several adjustments in prudential supervision at national levels and greater cooperation between members of the CAFTA.
The 2012 Article IV Consultation report on euro area policies highlights that investors are withholding funding from member states most in need, moving capital “north” and abroad to perceived safer assets. Executive Directors have noted that the euro area continues to face a number of economic challenges amid increasing financial stresses and market fragmentation. Directors have also stressed that it is important that policymakers continue to demonstrate shared and unequivocal commitment—with a clear, credible roadmap—to a deeper integration of the euro area.
This paper presents an overview of the impact of the EC’s Internal Market on the EFTA countries. It starts by examining the history of EC-EFTA relations; the institutional and legal changes that closer cooperation may require; and the general implications of the Internal Market Program for EFTA countries. This is followed by an exploration of specific issues relating to the goods trade, transport services, labor mobility, financial services and capital flows. Subsequent chapters focus on the potential impact of the EC’s proposed monetary unification on EFTA countries and the implications of the EC’s efforts in the area of tax harmonization.
Mr. Sami Ben Naceur, Mr. Ralph Chami, and Mohamed Trabelsi
This paper explores the relationship between remittances and financial inclusion for a sample of 187 countries over the period 2004-2015, using cross-country as well as dynamic panel GMM regressions. At low levels of remittances-to-GDP, these flows act as a substitute to formal financial channels, thereby reducing financial inclusion. In contrast, when remittance-to-GDP ratio is high, above 13% on average, they tend to complement formal access and usage channels, thus enhancing financial inclusion. This “U shaped” relationship highlights the role of remittance flows in financing household consumption at low levels, while raising formal household bank savings and allowing for more intermediation, at high levels of remittance-to-GDP.