This chapter was prepared by a team led by Seung Mo Choi and comprising Michael Gorbanyov, Cleary Haines, Siddharth Kothari, Andresa Lagerborg, Nkunde Mwase, Malika Pant, and Torsten Wezel, under the supervision of Papa N’Diaye and Catriona Purfield.
With every twist and turn in the global financial crisis that started in 2007, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has been at the heart of efforts to restore financial stability and return the world economy to sustainable growth. This year was no exception. The Fund was focused intensely on providing the financing, policy advice, and technical assistance that members need to manage economic and financial risks and achieve lasting growth. New nonconcessional financing arrangements were initiated for seven countries. At the same time, the institution was pursuing many strands of work to strengthen its approach to surveillance and policy design, to improve the instruments in its lending toolkit, and to improve the governance structure of the organization.
This chapter was prepared by a team led by Jesus Gonzalez-Garcia and comprising Reda Cherif, Sandesh Dhungana, Xiangming Fang, Miguel Pereira Mendes, Yuanchen Yang, Mustafa Yenice, and Jung Eun Yoon, under the supervision of Mahvash Qureshi and David Robinson.
After a major setback in late 2011, global economic prospects gradually improved in early 2012, but concerns over the strength of the recovery resurfaced in the second quarter. Stronger activity in the United States and policies in the euro area in response to its deepening economic crisis helped to address the sharp deterioration in financial conditions and boost market confidence in the first few months of 2012. However, downside risks remained elevated at the end of FY2012, and markets were jittery as concerns about sovereign debt in parts of Europe and pressure on the European banking sector resurfaced.
This chapter was prepared by a team coordinated by Samuel Delepierre, Alexander Massara, and David Stenzel, composed of Moez Ben Hassine, Krisztina Fabo, Hoda Selim, and Martha Woldemichael, with input from Jean Portier and Samuele Rosa and research assistance from Yanki Kalfa, under the supervision of Said Bakhache and Catriona Purfield.
The IMF continued in FY2012 to respond flexibly to members’ financing needs in an environment of heightened global uncertainty. The demand for Fund resources remained strong and commitments increased further, although at a slower pace compared to the previous year.
Faced with lower fiscal buffers than before the onset of the crisis in 2008, and given uncertain prospects for donor assistance in the future, low-income countries remained highly exposed during FY2012 to global shocks. The IMF worked on several fronts to help low-income countries deal with these and other ongoing challenges they face. In addition to the concessional financing the Fund provided to low-income countries during the year, and the additional concessional resources it secured through use of windfall gold sale profits (see Chapter 3), as well as new borrowing agreements signed to support financing for low-income countries (see Chapter 5), the Executive Board took up a number of issues particularly pertinent to low-income countries during the year. Debt issues were addressed in Board reviews of the HIPC Initiative and MDRI, as well as of the IMF–World Bank debt sustainability framework for low-income countries. Additionally, the Board examined ways of managing global growth risks and commodity price shocks in these countries.
Quota subscriptions (see Web Box 5.1) are a major source of the IMF’s financial resources. The IMF’s Board of Governors conducts general quota reviews at regular intervals (at least every five years), allowing the IMF to assess the adequacy of quotas in terms of members’ financing needs and its own ability to help meet those needs, and to modify members’ quotas to reflect changes in their relative positions in the world economy, thus ensuring that the decision-making mechanism of the international financial system evolves with the changing structure of the global economy. The most recent of these reviews, the Fourteenth General Review of Quotas, was concluded in December 2010.
Growth in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to remain at 3.2 percent in 2019 and rise to 3.6 percent in 2020. Growth is forecast to be slower than previously envisaged for about two-thirds of the countries in the region. The downward revision reflects a more challenging external environment, continued output disruptions in oil-exporting countries, and weaker-than-anticipated growth in South Africa.