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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

This year looks set to be another encouraging one for most sub-Saharan African economies. Reflecting mainly strong domestic demand but also elevated commodity prices, the region’s economy is set to expand by 5¼ percent in 2011. For 2012, our baseline projection is for growth to be higher at 5¾ percent, owing to one-off boosts to production in a number of countries.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the apparent disconnect between recent growth and poverty outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa:

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

During the past decade, sub-Saharan African countries have increasingly started exploiting new markets, marking what seems to be a historic reorientation of their trade and investment toward new partners, including those within the region (as defined in Appendix I). Very importantly, this reorientation has largely occurred through trade creation rather than trade diversion, as engagement with traditional partners has continued to grow in recent years, though at a slower pace than that with new partners. The broad aims of this chapter are to shed light on the extent of this reorientation, what it implies for sub-Saharan African countries, and the opportunities and challenges it poses.

International Monetary Fund

The paper reviews the background and the existing institutional framework for oil sector development in São Tomé and Príncipe and the challenges faced in implementing transparency rules in all oil-related transactions. It provides a quantitative analysis of the impact of oil sector development on government receipts, spending, and savings, and discusses the determinants of inflation from a statistical point of view. It also shows an analysis of the weak relationship between money growth and inflation.

International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Mr. Yehenew Endegnanew, Ms. Therese Turner-Jones, and Charles Amo Yartey
This paper examines the empirical link between fiscal policy and the current account focusing on microstates defined as countries with a population of less than 2 million between 1970 and 2009. The paper employs panel regression and panel vector autoregression (VAR) on 155 countries of which 42 are microstates. Panel regression results show that a percentage point improvement in the fiscal balance improves the current account balance by 0.4 percentage points of GDP. The real effective exchange rate has no significant impact on the current account in microstates but the coefficient is significant in the global sample. Panel VAR results show that an increase in government consumption results in real exchange appreciation but the effect on the current account after an initial deterioration dies out quicker in microstates than in the global sample. The result implies that fiscal policy has little effect on the current account in microstates beyond its direct impact on imports. Overall, the results suggest that the weak relative price effects make the effect of fiscal adjustment on the current account much more difficult in microstates.
Mr. Erwin H Tiongson, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, and Mr. Sanjeev Gupta
Global food aid is considered a critical consumption smoothing mechanism in many countries. However, its record of stabilizing consumption has been mixed. This paper examines the cyclical properties of food aid with respect to food availability in recipient countries, with a view to assessing its impact on consumption in some 150 developing countries and transition economies, covering 1970 to 2000. The results show that global food aid has been allocated to countries most in need. Food aid has also been countercyclical within countries with the greatest need. However, for most countries, food aid is not countercyclical. The amount of food aid provided is also insufficient to mitigate contemporaneous shortfalls in consumption. The results are robust to various specifications and filtering techniques and have important implications for macroeconomic and fiscal management.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Tout porte à croire que l’année en cours sera, elle aussi, une année encourageante pour la plupart des pays d’Afrique subsaharienne. Sous l’effet surtout du dynamisme de la demande intérieure mais aussi du niveau élevé des cours des produits de base, l’économie de la région devrait croître de plus de 5¼ % en 2011. Pour 2012, selon les projections de référence des services du FMI, la croissance régionale devrait être supérieure à 5¾ %, compte tenu notamment des mesures ponctuelles prises par plusieurs pays pour stimuler la production. Mais il y a des fantômes au banquet : la hausse des prix mondiaux des produits de l’alimentation et de l’énergie, amplifiée par la sécheresse qui sévit par endroits, a mis à mal les budgets des pauvres et a provoqué une poussée d’inflation, et les hésitations de la reprise mondiale menacent d’assombrir les perspectives d’exportation et de croissance. Les projections régionales pour 2012 reposent en grande partie sur l’hypothèse que le rythme de croissance de l’économie mondiale se maintiendra autour de 4 %. Si la croissance continue de ralentir dans les pays avancés et que la demande mondiale s’en trouve freinée, l’expansion en cours dans la région connaîtra vraisemblablement de grandes difficultés, les pays les plus exposés étant probablement ceux qui sont plus intégrés à l’économie mondiale. Au cours des mois à venir, les autorités devront gérer un équilibre délicat entre, d’une part, la nécessité d’affronter les défis engendrés par la vigueur de la croissance et les récents chocs exogènes et, d’autre part, celle d’éviter les effets négatifs d’un nouveau ralentissement de l’activité mondiale. Dans certains pays moins dynamiques, qui sont surtout des pays à revenu intermédiaire et où la liberté d’action des autorités n’est pas soumise à des contraintes financières, il est clair que les pouvoirs publics doivent continuer de soutenir la croissance de la production, à plus forte raison si la croissance mondiale vacille. Pour autant que l’économie mondiale connaisse, comme prévu aujourd’hui, une croissance régulière mais faible, la plupart des pays à faible revenu de la région devraient fonder résolument leur politique budgétaire sur des considérations de moyen terme, tout en resserrant leur politique monétaire partout où l’inflation hors alimentation a dépassé 10 %. En cas de ralentissement de l’activité mondiale, sous réserve des contraintes de financement, ces pays devraient s’attacher à maintenir les initiatives de dépenses déjà prévues, en laissant jouer les stabilisateurs automatiques du côté des recettes. En ce qui concerne les pays exportateurs de pétrole, l’amélioration des termes de l’échange offre une bonne occasion de constituer des marges de manœuvre pour parer à un regain de volatilité des prix.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

This year looks set to be another encouraging one for most sub-Saharan African economies. Reflecting mainly strong demand but also elevated commodity prices, the region's economy is set to expand by more than 5¼ percent in 2011. For 2012, the IMF staff's baseline projection is for growth to be higher at 5¾ percent, owing to one-off boosts to production in a number of countries. There are, however, specters at the feast: the increase in global food and fuel prices, amplified by drought affecting parts of the region, has hit the budgets of the poor and sparked rising inflation, and hesitations in the global recovery threaten to weaken export and growth prospects. The projection for 2012 for the region is highly contingent on global economic growth being sustained at about 4 percent. A further slowing of growth in advanced economies, curtailing global demand, would generate significant headwinds for the region's ongoing expansion, with more globally integrated countries likely to be most affected. Policies in the coming months need to tread a fine line between addressing the challenges that strong growth and recent exogenous shocks have engendered and warding off the adverse effects of another global downturn. In some slower-growing, mostly middle-income countries without binding financial constraints, policies should clearly remain supportive of output growth, even more so if global growth sputters. Provided the global economy experiences the currently predicted slow and steady growth, most of the region's low-income countries should focus squarely on medium-term considerations in setting fiscal policy while tightening monetary policy wherever nonfood inflation has climbed above single digits. In the event of a global downturn, subject to financing constraints, policies in these countries should focus on maintaining planned spending initiatives, while allowing automatic stabilizers to operate on the revenue side. For the region's oil exporters, better terms of trade provide a good opportunity to build up policy buffers against further price volatility.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Unless otherwise noted, data and projections presented in this Regional Economic Outlook are IMF staff estimates as of September 16, 2011, consistent with the projections underlying the September 2011 World Economic Outlook.