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.
Although Afghanistan has made significant gains over the years, vulnerabilities remain. The economic program Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) has been developed to sustain democracy, reduce poverty, and improve growth. ANDS, an important milestone in the rebuilding and development of Afghanistan, serves as its Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) and uses the pillars, principles, and benchmarks of the Afghanistan Compact as a foundation to achieve its MDGs. It has given high priority to the security sector for implementing security policies and strategies and also for building an Afghan National Army for the country's security.
This paper reviews economic developments in the Republic of Armenia during the 1990s. Real GDP declined by a cumulative 60 percent in 1992–93; price changes reached hyperinflation levels in late 1993; and real wages declined by nearly 50 percent in the course of that year. In the fall of 1994, the authorities formulated a comprehensive program of stabilization and structural reform that was supported in December 1994 by a first purchase under the Systemic Transformation Facility.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes the optimal policy response on the part of the Kazakhstan authorities to the prospective oil inflows. It surveys the literature on the so-called natural resource curse and offers an analysis of Kazakhstan’s petroleum potential. The paper analyzes the impact of the oil boom on the non-oil sector, based on a general equilibrium model. It provides an analysis of fiscal rules and fiscal sustainability and assesses the possible role of fiscal policies in addressing the “natural resource curse.”
Ian W.H. Parry, Mr. Chandara Veung, and Mr. Dirk Heine
This paper calculates, for the top twenty emitting countries, how much pricing of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is in their own national interests due to domestic co-benefits (leaving aside the global climate benefits). On average, nationally efficient prices are substantial, $57.5 per ton of CO2 (for year 2010), reflecting primarily health co-benefits from reduced air pollution at coal plants and, in some cases, reductions in automobile externalities (net of fuel taxes/subsidies). Pricing co-benefits reduces CO2 emissions from the top twenty emitters by 13.5 percent (a 10.8 percent reduction in global emissions). However, co-benefits vary dramatically across countries (e.g., with population exposure to pollution) and differentiated pricing of CO2 emissions therefore yields higher net benefits (by 23 percent) than uniform pricing. Importantly, the efficiency case for pricing carbon’s co-benefits hinges critically on (i) weak prospects for internalizing other externalities through other pricing instruments and (ii) productive use of carbon pricing revenues.
This paper analyzes the implications of Islamic precepts on banks’ structure and activities, focusing on banking supervision issues. It points out and discusses these issues in the context of a paradigm version of Islamic banking, as well as in frameworks that fall between the paradigm version and conventional banking. The case of Islamic banks operating in a conventional system is also examined.
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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The May 2010 Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia reports on the implications for the region of global economic developments and presents key policy challenges and recommendations. A resumption of capital inflows and the rebound in crude oil prices have aided the recovery in the oil-exporting countries of the Middle East and North Africa. The group of oil-importing countries is expected to show marginal increase in growth in response to a pickup in trade, investment, and bank credit. A key challenge for these countries is to enhance competitiveness to raise growth rates and generate employment. In the Caucasus and Central Asia, exports have begun to pick up, the decline in remittances appears to be slowing or reversing, and capital inflows have turned positive. For 2010, a recovery across the region is projected as the global economy, and in particular Russia, picks up speed. Overall, prospects for the region are improving and the regional impact of the Dubai crisis and events in Greece has been limited so far. Nevertheless, a repricing of sovereign debt cannot be excluded, adding a degree of uncertainty to the outlook.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Arecent IMF study proposes policies that could improve the financial sector’s performance in the Middle East and North Africa region. While the study finds that financial development varies considerably across the region, it is clear that more needs to be done to reinforce the institutional environment and promote nonbank financial sector development. Susan Creane, Rishi Goyal, and Randa Sab discussed their main findings and methodology with Jacqueline Irving of the IMF Survey.