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Evangelos A. Calamitsis

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is contending with an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized years of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.

Mr. Antonio Spilimbergo
Research summaries on (1) measuring inflation, and (2) strengthening Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) programs through poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA); country study on Spain; listing of contents of Vol. 53, Special Issue of IMF Staff Papers, summary of recently published IMF book entitled "IMF-Supported Programs: Recent Staff Research"; listings of recent external publications by IMF staff members, IMF Working Papers, and visiting scholars at the IMF during January-August 2006.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Selected Issues
Corinne Deléchat, Ms. Ejona Fuli, Mrs. Dafina Glaser, Mr. Gustavo Ramirez, and Rui Xu
This paper studies the role of fiscal policies and institutions in building resilience in sub-Saharan African countries during 1990-2013, with specific emphasis on a group of twenty-six countries that were deemed fragile in the 1990s. As the drivers of fragility and resilience are closely intertwined, we use GMM estimation as well as a probabilistic framework to address endogeneity and reverse causality. We find that fiscal institutions and fiscal space, namely the capacity to raise tax revenue and contain current spending, as well as lower military spending and, to some extent, higher social expenditure, are significantly and fairly robustly associated with building resilience. Similar conclusions arise from a study of the progression of a group of seven out of the twenty-six sub- Saharan African countries that managed to build resilience after years of civil unrest and/or violent conflict. These findings suggest relatively high returns to focusing on building sound fiscal institutions in fragile states. The international community can help this process through policy advice, technical assistance, and training on tax administration and budget reforms.
Mr. Magnus Saxegaard
This paper examines the pattern of excess liquidity in sub-Saharan Africa and its consequences for the effectiveness of monetary policy. The paper argues that understanding the consequences of excess liquidity requires quantifying the extent to which commercial bank holdings of excess liquidity exceed levels required for precautionary purposes. It proposes a methodology for measuring this quantity and uses it to estimate a nonlinear structural VAR model for the CEMAC region, Nigeria and Uganda. The study suggests that excess liquidity weakens the monetary policy transmission mechanism and thus the ability of monetary authorities to influence demand conditions in the economy.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Rédigées par la branche Stratégie du Département Afrique du FMI et publiées deux fois l'an en anglais et en français, les « Perspectives économiques régionales : Afrique subsaharienne » analysent les résultats économiques et les perspectives à court terme des 44 pays couverts par le département. Thèmes évoqués dans les éditions précédentes : réactions aux chocs exogènes ; résultats en matière de croissance et politiques porteuses de croissance ; efficacité des arrangements commerciaux régionaux ; implications macroéconomiques de l'expansion de l'aide ; développement du secteur financier ; décentralisation budgétaire. Des données détaillées sur les pays, groupés selon qu'ils sont exportateurs ou importateurs de pétrole et selon leur sous-région, sont présentées dans un appendice et un appendice statistique, et une liste des publications pertinentes du département Afrique est également fournie. ISSN 0258-7440.

International Monetary Fund
This paper is the third in a series assessing macroeconomic developments and prospects in low-income developing countries (LIDCs). The first of these papers (IMF, 2014a) examined trends during 2000–2014, a period of sustained strong growth across most LIDCs. The second paper (IMF, 2015a) focused on the impact of the drop in global commodity prices since mid-2014 on LIDCs—a story with losers (countries dependent on commodity exports, notably fuel) and winners (countries with a more diverse export base, where growth remained robust). The overarching theme in this paper’s assessment of the macroeconomic conjuncture among LIDCs is that of incomplete adjustment to the new world of “lower for long” commodity prices, with many commodity exporters still far from a sustainable macroeconomic trajectory (Chapter 1). The analysis of risks and vulnerabilities focuses on financial sector stresses and medium-term fiscal risks, pointing to the actions, including capacity building, needed to manage and contain these challenges over time (Chapter 2). With 2016 the first year of the march towards the 2030 development goals, the paper also looks at how infrastructure investment can be accelerated in LIDCs, given that weaknesses in public infrastructure (such as energy, transportation systems) in LIDCs are widely seen as a key constraint on medium-term growth potential (Chapter 3). With the sharp adjustment in commodity prices now into its third year, some of the key messages of the paper are familiar: a) many commodity exporters, notably fuel producers, remain under significant economic stress, with sluggish growth, large fiscal imbalances, and weakened foreign reserve positions; b) countries with a more diversified export base are generally doing well, although several have been hit by declines in remittances, conflict/natural disasters, and the contractionary impact of macroeconomic stabilization programs; c) widening fiscal imbalances, in both commodity and diversified exporters, have resulted in rising debt levels, with severe financing stress emerging in some cases; and d) financial sector stresses have emerged in many LIDCs, with expectations that these strains will increase in many commodity exporters over the next 12–18 months. Key messages on financial sector oversight, on medium-term fiscal risks, and on tackling infrastructure gaps are flagged below. Read Executive Summary in: Arabic; Chinese; French; Spanish
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Prepared by the Policy Wing of the IMF African Department, and published twice a year in English and French, Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa analyzes economic performance and short-term prospects of the 44 countries covered by the Department. Topics examined in recent volumes include responses to exogenous shocks, growth performance and growth-enhancing policies, the effectiveness of regional trade arrangements, macroeconomic implications of scaled-up aid, financial sector development, and fiscal decentralization. Detailed country data, grouped by oil-exporting and -importing countries and by subregion, are provided in an appendix and a statistical appendix, and a list of relevant publications by the African Department is included.