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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Members of the Council of the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC)—Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)—hold a sizable portion of the world’s energy resources and are major players in the global financial system. As macroeconomic stability and improvements in health and literacy attest, they have largely used their wealth wisely. But the volatility of their income from oil and gas poses a key test for their policymakers. This article reviews the GCC’s performance, weighs the challenges ahead, and outlines the reforms needed to ensure stronger growth and more stable and vibrant economies.

Miguel A. Segoviano

A major portion of sub-Saharan Africa’s foreign exchange earnings are devoted to the procurement of petroleum. This situation could be ameliorated: a revamping of policies and practices in hydrocarbons procurement and distribution could yield savings in the region of an amount significantly greater than yearly net disbursements of World Bank loans and credits to all the continent combined.

Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo
IMF research summaries on (1) oil market developments and the global economy (by Selim Elekdag), and (2) credit booms (by Marco Terrones); country study on India (by Helene Poirson); call for papers for November 2007 Jacques Polak Eighth Annual Research Conference; listing of contents of Vol. 54, Issue No. 2 of IMF Staff Papers; listing of recent IMF Working Papers; and listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during April-June 2007
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Annual Meetings overview; IMFC communique; World Economic Outlook, chapters I, II, IV; Regional Economic Outlooks: Asia, Africa, Latin America; Low-income countries, high oil prices; Annual Meetings seminar program; Per Jacobsson lecture.
International Monetary Fund
Many countries around the globe, particularly the systemic advanced economies, face the challenge of closing output gaps and raising potential output growth. Addressing these challenges requires a package of macroeconomic, financial and structural policies that will boost both aggregate demand and aggregate supply, while closing the shortfall between demand and supply. Each element of this package is important and one cannot substitute for the other: easy monetary policy will not raise potential output just as structural reforms will not close the output gap. This report studies the impact on emerging markets and nonsystemic advanced economies from monetary policy actions in systemic advanced economies, with a look also at knock-on effects from the decline in world oil prices.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.


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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.


This paper presents the economic outlook for the Middle East and Central Asia for 2006–07. Economic performance in the Middle East and Central Asia region remains strong, despite security problems in some countries and recent asset price reversals. Growth in the region continues to outpace global growth and should average 6–7 percent in 2006 and 2007—similar to the rates of the past three years. Strong external inflows resulting from high oil and non-oil commodity prices, foreign investments, and remittances are fueling credit growth, and inflation continues to edge up.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.


Oil drilling platform at the Kashagan oil field on the Caspian shelf in western Kazakhstan, by STR/Reuters Photo Archive.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper reviews the self-help housing project in El Salvador. The paper highlights that projects like this one become community efforts in a real sense. The families participate in road building, construction, digging trenches, and pipe-laying, under supervision. The Fundación Salvadoreña de Desarrollo y Vivienda Mi'nima (FSVM) is the executing agency in this self-help project involving a US$6 million International Development Association (IDA) credit and a US$2.5 million loan from the World Bank to the government of El Salvador. The FSVM has already completed about 1,020 fully serviced lots for families with monthly incomes below US$120.