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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

In a news brief issued on June 14, IMF First Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer announced that the Executive Board of the IMF had met that day to assess Albania’s request for a second annual arrangement and augmentation of access under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (ESAF). “The request was approved and, as a result, SDR 21.5 million (about $30 million) is available to Albania during the second annual ESAF arrangement.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Growth in Egypt has picked up steadily since 2004 (see chart), making it one of the Middle East's fastest growing economies. Egypt launched bold reforms in 2004 that, along with a favorable external environment, have triggered an impressive acceleration of growth, to 7 percent in 2006/07.

Mr. George A Mackenzie

Two recent criticisms of summary fiscal indicators are appraised: first, that they and the conventionally measured public sector balances from which they are derived are not sufficiently broadly defined; second, that they are meaningless because they do not reflect changes in the distribution of wealth between generations. The paper concludes that the defects of summary fiscal indicators have been exaggerated. It is not feasible to include all changes in public sector net worth in the deficit, and the existence of liquidity constraints and aversion to indebtedness imply that conventionally measured public sector deficits are not irrelevant.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

For the first time in a generation, sub-Saharan Africa’s economic performance has shown substantial improvement in recent years, based largely on improved policies. Nevertheless, the overall economic situation is fragile, as evidenced by the slowdown in economic growth and the increase in financial imbalances in 1998, owing to poor weather, weak commodity prices, and armed conflicts. More fundamentally, sub-Saharan Africa still has a long way to go to make a real dent in pervasive poverty, begin catching up with other developing regions, and integrate itself fully into the global economy.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following is a summary of a paper prepared for presentation by IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus and delivered by Hubert Neiss, Director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, at the Asia-Europe Finance Ministers Meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, January 16.