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The global economic environment continued to provide little stimulus for SSA in 2003.2 While world economic growth increased from 3 percent in 2002 to 3.8 percent last year, world import demand did not keep pace and expanded by only 3.2 percent in the advanced economies, where most SSA exports are marketed. In addition, the external terms of trade for the region as a whole were largely unchanged, improving by about 2 percent for the oil exporters and declining by a similar amount for the non-oil economies. Some non-oil exporters received a boost to their terms of trade from stronger commodity prices, especially cotton (up 37 percent), groundnuts (up 30 percent), and robusta coffee (up 25 percent). However, despite these price increases, most key commodity prices remain very low relative to historical averages. On the positive side, world inflation remained low, helping contain inflation in SSA countries with exchange rate pegs. In addition, lower world interest rates kept domestic interest rates in SSA lower than would otherwise have been.
Six basic themes emerge from the 2003 outturn: (i) average growth in the region remains far below the 7 percent estimated to be needed for the region as a whole to reach the MDGs on income-based poverty; (ii) growth experiences continue to be diverse, and some countries appear to be on a path of relatively strong sustainable growth; (iii) domestic policies matter—countries facing the same external environment are having very different growth experiences; (iv) conflict, civil strife, drought, and poor policies continue to be the causes of the worst growth experiences; (v) net exports have not been the source of economic growth, except in the oil exporting countries; and (vi) the achievement of growth rates sufficient to significantly reduce poverty will require higher rates of investment, which, in the absence of higher rates of national savings, will need to be financed through larger official and private capital flows.
The outlook for 2004 is relatively upbeat. Economic growth rates will rise, inflation rates is expected to fall, investment and savings rates are projected to increase, external current account balances will be largely unchanged, and net international reserves coverage will stabilize. This improvement will be supported by a general reduction in fiscal deficits and a further tightening of monetary policy.
This Selected Issues paper discusses measures to enhance resilience to climate and natural disasters in Seychelles. Rising sea levels, changing rainfall patterns, increasingly intense and frequent tropical cyclones, and massive coral bleaching are compounding economic and social risks in Seychelles. A policy mix focused on combining adaptation and mitigation strategies is ideal for Seychelles. Such policies should not only be aligned with Seychelles’ Nationally Determined Contribution, but also with the technical and financial capacity of the government. Experience from other small states suggests that small policy changes can still have a significant impact. To the extent adaptation and mitigation measures are inadequate, insurance policies and innovative financial instruments need to be exploited further.
This paper takes stock of Seychelles’ plans to manage climate change, from the perspective of its macroeconomic implications. It suggests macro-relevant reforms that could strengthen the plans’ likelihood of success. It highlights high public awareness and a body of existing sustainable development planning, which puts Seychelles several steps ahead toward preparedness. Next steps would be to ensure that climate change planning is integrated with the forthcoming National Development Plan. Disaster preparedness is a relatively strong point, but there is much still to be done—from improving warning systems to resilience building to contingency financing.
This 2017 Article IV Consultation highlights Seychelles’ continued strong macroeconomic performance in 2016. Economic growth reached 4.5 percent, reflecting increased tourist arrivals, stronger output in the fishing industry, and expanding credit to the private sector. Helped by low commodity prices and a stable exchange rate, inflation (year over year) was negative throughout early 2017. The external current account deficit remained largely unchanged, while gross international reserves at the end of 2016 reached four months of prospective imports of goods and services. With continued foreign investment and rising arrivals in the tourism sector, the growth outlook for 2017 remains positive.
Johanna Tiedemann, Veronica Piatkov, Dinar Prihardini, Juan Carlos Benitez, and Ms. Aleksandra Zdzienicka
Small Developing States (SDS) face substantial challenges in achieving sustainable development. Many of these challenges relate to the small size and limited diversification of their economies. SDS are also among the most vulnerable countries to the impact of climate change and natural disasters. Meeting SDS sustainable development goals goes hand-in-hand with building their climate resilience. But the additional costs to meet development and resilience objectives are substantial and difficult to finance. This work adapts the IMF SDG Costing methodology to capture the unique characteristics and challenges of climate-vulnerable SDS. It also zooms into financing options, estimating domestic tax potential and discussing the possibility of accessing ‘climate funds.’
The world economy in 2003 provided little support for economic growth in SSA countries. World economic growth increased, but it still remained sluggish in the advanced economies and declined in the euro area. The terms of trade were broadly unchanged, and key commodity prices remained depressed by historical standards, despite some rebound during the year. However, the external environment is projected to improve this year.
This note highlights the unique economic characteristics and constraints facing small developing states. It provides operational guidance on Fund engagement with such countries, including on how small country size might influence the use of Fund facilities and instruments, program design, capacity building activities, and collaboration with other institutions and donors. The guidance note draws on the March 2013 Board papers on small states and the associated Executive Board discussion. The findings of the paper and implications for Fund engagement with small states were presented to small states authorities during the 2013 Annual Meetings, as well as in regional IMF conferences with small states in the Bahamas (September 2013) and Vanuatu (November 2013).