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Mr. Jose Martelino, Mr. S. Nuri Erbas, Mr. Adnan Mazarei, Ms. Sena Eken, and Mr. Paul Cashin

Abstract

This paper provides background information on the Lebanese economy, based on an analysis of the economic consequences of war, and discusses several issues that will be central to Lebanon's prospects for recovery

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper analyzes that although demands for political transformation commanded the world’s attention, those calls were largely motivated by unresolved socioeconomic issues. Demonstrators in the streets of Cairo and Tunis demanding bread, dignity, and social justice expressed widely held aspirations for basic economic rights, along with greater prosperity and equity. Almost seven years later, notable progress has been achieved in terms of public finance reforms. However, these reforms still have a long way to go to reduce disparities in the distribution of wealth within most countries of the region or narrow the development gaps between them. Countries in the Middle East and North Africa now face a stark choice between short-term retrenchment and resolute pursuit of the long-term reforms needed to secure their future economic prosperity. Forsaking important economic adjustments needed to strengthen inclusive growth and modernize the state and private sectors would set the region back, possibly for decades.
Ms. Susan Creane, Mr. Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Miss Randa Sab, and Rishi Goyal

Abstract

In this study, the authors assess financial sector development in the MENA regionand propose several policy measures, which include reinforcing the institutional environment and promoting nonbank financial sector development, to enhance this sector’s performance.

Ms. Susan Creane, Mr. Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Miss Randa Sab, and Rishi Goyal

Abstract

As countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) (Box 1) consider ways to promote more rapid and lasting economic growth, further financial sector reform should be high on the agenda. Policies aimed at enhancing financial sector performance result in higher economic growth: both theory and evidence support this proposition. A more developed financial system promotes efficiency and growth by reducing information, transaction, and monitoring costs. Research in this area is typically based on a broad cross section of countries, but comparatively little work has been done on the specifics of financial development in the MENA region.

International Monetary Fund

The economy of Jordan was affected by the global crisis. Lower commodity prices helped improve Jordan’s external position. Effective banking supervision has strengthened the capacity of Jordanian banks to withstand shocks. The authorities have implemented prudent fiscal and monetary policies. The medium-term fiscal strategy should be supported by a number of institutional reforms. The fixed exchange rate regime remains important for financial stability. Bank regulation and supervision should continue to focus on preventing excessive risk-taking.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper discusses Jordan’s Sixth Review Under the Stand-By Arrangement, Request for Waivers of Applicability of Performance Criteria (PC), and Rephasing of Access. PC Program performance remains broadly on course. All end-March 2015 PCs are expected to be met. Structural performance saw improvement, including the pre-approval of a credit bureau and the establishment of a new public investment framework. There is an urgent need for broad-based policy actions in the labor market to put the unemployed into jobs, increase female labor force participation, and reform public-sector compensation and hiring practices. The IMF staff supports the completion of the sixth review and the related purchase.
International Monetary Fund
This paper focuses on the Fifth Post-Program Monitoring Discussions with Jordan. Jordan’s economic performance remains strong. Growth is robust, core inflation is contained, the current account deficit is narrowing, reserves are comfortable, and the fiscal situation continues to improve. The Fifth Post-Program Monitoring Discussions focused on a large current account deficit, still high public debt, and rapid credit growth. The authorities consider the outlook for the Jordanian economy as strong, including on growth, inflation, and the current account.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights that Jordan has made significant progress since the 2014 Article IV Consultation but pressing challenges remain. The gradual pick-up in growth from 2010 to 2014 ended in 2015, with real GDP growth decelerating from 2.4 percent in 2015 to 2 percent in 2016. Labor market conditions have remained challenging, particularly for youth and women, with the unemployment rate increasing to 15.8 percent in the second half of 2016. Despite considerable progress and recent improvements, the outlook remains challenging. Real GDP growth is projected to reach 2.3 percent in 2017, while inflation is expected to stabilize at about 2.5 percent by year-end.
International Monetary Fund
The staff report for the 2004 Article IV Consultation on Jordan highlights economic developments and policies. General sales tax collections increased strongly boosted by high import growth and improved revenue administration. The government has embarked on a substantial improvement of the education system, with support from an education sector reform loan from the World Bank. The integration of the sales and income tax departments into a unified revenue department will also contribute by strengthening tax collections and enforcement.