This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that macroeconomic outcomes for Antigua and Barbuda have strengthened significantly in recent years. Real GDP growth averaged 5 percent during 2003–05, and is estimated to have reached 12 percent in 2006. There has been progress in implementing broad structural reforms. On fiscal issues, the authorities intend to enhance revenue performance, including the introduction of a more flexible mechanism for retail fuel pricing in 2008. They also intend to improve the investment climate, reduce skill mismatches, exports, and deregulate telecommunications.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
Weak growth and underlying structural vulnerabilities persist in both Curaçao and Sint Maarten. Worsened macroeconomic conditions—reflecting the spillovers from one of Curaçao’s largest trading partners and the devastation from Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Sint Maarten—make the need for policy adjustment and structural reforms aimed at ensuring fiscal sustainability, enhancing competitiveness, strengthening investor confidence, and developing capacity more urgent.
This 2007 Article IV Consultation highlights that Jamaica’s economy is estimated to have achieved its best growth performance in over a decade during FY2006/07, which ended on March 31, 2007. Notwithstanding some recent moderation of momentum, the economy is estimated to have expanded by just below 3 percent in real terms, up from 2 percent the previous year and 0.4 percent the year before. Monetary policy remains focused on containing inflation while seeking to engender a sustainable reduction in interest rates.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper discusses recent economic developments, the outlook, and risks for the Czech Republic. The economy has been growing at an exceptionally strong pace. Driven by robust domestic demand, output expanded by 4.2 percent—the highest rate in the central and eastern European region—in 2015. Labor market performance has been strong. Fiscal performance was better than budgeted in 2015. The banking sector is stable, and credit growth continues to strengthen. However, economic activity is expected to slow in 2016. Private consumption will remain robust on the heels of higher disposable income and employment, but the projected slowdown in EU-fund absorption will weigh on growth.
This paper presents main characteristics of a typical oil economy. Estimates of proven oil reserves in Saudi Arabia differ widely, ranging from estimates by ARAMCO and the other companies of about 100 billion barrels to figures exceeding 150 billion barrels. In 1969, two US firms commissioned by the Saudi Arabian Government completed studies of the country's oil reserves, estimating 126.4 billion barrels for the fields surveyed. Growth of oil production in Saudi Arabia has been determined largely by exogenous factors connected with the growth of world demand for oil and fluctuations in supplies from other producing areas. Industrial and agricultural development in Saudi Arabia has been constrained by the scarcity of natural resources, other than oil. Agricultural and fishery resources can be potentially significant, but only recently have they been systematically explored. Based on a clear comparative advantage in the supply of oil and natural gas, industrial development in Saudi Arabia is proceeding from oil production and refining to petrochemicals and to other energy-intensive industries.
Mr. Francesco Grigoli, Alexander Herman, and Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel
This paper analyzes saving patterns and determinants in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), including key policy variables and regimes. The review of previous empirical studies on LAC saving reveals contradictions and omissions. This paper presents empirical results of an extensive search of determinants of private and public saving rates, adding previously neglected variables (including different measures of key external prices and macroeconomic policy regimes), in linear form and in interactions with other saving determinants. It analyzes statistical differences in saving determinants between LAC and the rest of the world in a nested econometric framework, and discusses differences across three country subgroups within LAC. The results highlight commonalities and differences in saving behavior between LAC and other world regions, as well as within LAC, identifying the role of key policy variables and regimes.
Mr. Eduardo Borensztein, Mr. Patricio A Valenzuela, and Kevin Cowan
Although credit rating agencies have gradually moved away from a policy of never rating a private borrower above the sovereign (the "sovereign ceiling") it appears that sovereign ratings remain a significant determinant of the credit rating assigned to corporations. We examine this link using data for advanced and emerging economies over the past decade and conclude that the sovereign ratings have a significant and robust effect on private ratings even after controlling for country specific macroeconomic conditions and firm-level performance indicators. This suggests that public debt management affects the private sector through a channel that had not been previously recognized.
The main purposes of this paper are to review the operational modalities and experience of oil funds currently in place in Norway, Chile (copper), the State of Alaska, Venezuela, Kuwait, and Oman, and to draw some preliminary conclusions on their contribution to enhance fiscal management. The outcome so far of their experience has been mixed, with differences among countries reflecting the variety of objectives attached to the funds, the challenges in adhering to established rules, the institutional set-up. and the soundness of the overall fiscal discipline in each country (or state).
CONTRARY to the commonly perceived stereotype of state-owned enterprises as passive and non-responsive, there is evidence to suggest that in Poland, state companies are adapting to new realities with considerable vigor. A World Bank study on the experience of 75 large state-owned enterprises shows that the industrial recovery is based on solid microeconomic adjustment.