This Selected Issues paper for the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe (STP) underlies the recent upward trend in inflation that was heavily influenced by external factors. The policy mix to achieve price stability requires effective control of money supply and fiscal restraint. As in other developing countries, operational targets for monetary policy need to be considered, taking into account STP’s specific circumstances. Weak financial intermediation limits the effectiveness of some monetary instruments such as short-term interest rates.
The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe shows prudence in maintaining its fiscal stance assisted by the IMF extended credit facility (ECF). The authorities aim to concentrate on maintaining macroeconomic stability even though debt distress owing to a narrow export base and other issues loom as threats. Focus is on strengthening of existing monetary and public finances policies, banking supervision, and anti-money laundering, which will help in reducing poverty. Revenue from oil production is also expected to help achieve the target by 2015.
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.
Context: S�o Tom� and Pr�ncipe's economic development is constrained by its insularity, fragility, limited resources, and low capacity as a small island state. GDP growth has averaged over 4 percent per year since 2012, faster than many small island states. Inflation has also fallen sharply from 28 percent down to about 4 percent, the lowest in the past two decades. These developments notwithstanding, growth has not been sufficiently strong and diversified to meaningfully improve economic prospects and reduce poverty significantly. The poverty rate is high at 66 percent. Focus: Discussions centered on aligning fiscal policy to bring debt to a downward trajectory toward a moderate risk of debt distress; addressing the liquidity overhang to enhance monetary management; improving competitiveness; and safeguarding financial sector stability to support growth. S�o Tom� and Pr�ncipe is participating in the second round pilot of countries to mainstream macro-financial linkages.
Mr. Paolo Dudine, Sibabrata Das, Ms. Pritha Mitra, Yongzheng Yang, Eteri Kvintradze, and Miss Nkunde Mwase
Low-income countries were hit especially hard by sharp increases in world food and fuel prices in 2007-08 and the global financial crisis that followed. In response, the International Monetary Fund scaled up its financial assistance to low-income countries and revamped its concessional lending facilities to make them more flexible in meeting the diverse needs of these countries. Creating Policy Space in Low-Income Countries during the Recent Crises assesses empirically the outcome of the IMF response, and provides insight into how IMF-supported programs in low-income countries have been adapted to the changing economic circumstances in these countries. The authors report that these programs have provided expanded policy space in the face of the global price shocks and financial crisis.
Although the impact of the global crisis has been severe, real per capita GDP growth stayed positive in two-thirds of low-income countries (LICs), unlike in previous global downturns, and in contrast to richer countries. Emerging from the Global Crisis explores how LICS have coped with the global economic crisis. It reviews the impact of the crisis on LICs, domestic policy responses to the crisis, and the precrisis conditions of select countries. The prospects and challenges that LICs face are also considered. Sections of the paper look at growth prospects, policy recommendations, the general macroeconomic outlook, as well as the rebuilding of fiscal buffers. The authors also "stress-test" LICs' exposure to further volatility by using a hypothetical "downside" recovery scenario.
Mr. Emanuele Baldacci, Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, and Mr. Carlos Mulas-Granados
This issue of F&D looks at the growing role of emerging markets. Analysis by the IMF's Ayhan Kose and Eswar Prasad, professor of trade policy at Cornell University, argues that their economic ascendance will enable emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, and Russia to play a more significant part in global economic governance and take on more responsibility for economic and financial stability. And Vivek Arora and Athanasios Vamvakidis measure how China's economy is increasingly affecting the rest of the world not just its neighbors and main trading partners. In addition, F&D examines a variety of topics that are particularly relevant as the world struggles to shake off the crisis. Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi look at the positive effects of stimulus in the United States. Without it, they say, the United States would still be in recession. IMF researchers look at how countries can get debt under control, and what happens when government debt is downgraded. Other articles examine the human costs of unemployment, how inequality can lead over time to financial crisis, and what changes in the way banks do business could mean for the financial system. Two artic