How does China’s new growth model affect sub-Saharan Africa? To address this question, this paper first looks at the growing ties between China and Africa; attempts to estimate more precisely the impact on growth through the trade channel; and finally draws some policy implications regarding whether this means an end of the Africa Rising narrative or merely the beginning of a new chapter.
This issue of the Fiscal Monitor examines the conduct of fiscal policy under the uncertainty caused by dependence on natural resource revenues. It draws on extensive past research on the behavior of commodity prices and their implications for macroeconomic outcomes, as well as on extensive IMF technical assistance to resource-rich economies seeking to improve their management of natural resource wealth.
Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, Mr. Raphael A Espinoza, and Mrs. Sarwat Jahan
This paper documents the expanding economic linkages between low-income countries (LICs) and a narrow group of "Emerging Market leaders" that have become major players in regional and global trade and financial flows. VAR models show that these linkages have increased the share of growth volatility that can be attributed to foreign shocks in LICs. Dynamic panel models further analyze the impact of LIC trade orientation and production structure on the sensitivity to foreign shocks. The empirical results demonstrate that the elasticity of growth to trading partners' growth is high for LICs in Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Europe and Central Asia. However, for commodity-exporting LICs in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, terms of trade shocks and demand from the emerging market leaders are the main channels of transmission of foreign shocks.
Using a panel of 101 low- and middle-income countries with data covering the period 1980-2012, this paper applies various econometric approaches that deal with endogeneity issues to assess the impact of food price shocks on socio-political instability once fiscal policy and remittances have been accounted for. It focuses on import prices to reflect the vulnerability of importer countries / net-buyer households to food price shocks. The paper finds that import food price shocks strongly increase the likelihood of socio-political instability. This effect is greater in countries with lower levels of private credit and income per capita. On the other hand, while remittances seem to dampen the adverse effect of import food price shocks on socio-political instability in almost all countries, the mitigating role of fiscal policy is significant only in countries with low-levels of private credit.
Ms. Hong Liang, Mr. C. John McDermott, and Mr. Paul Cashin
This paper examines the persistence of shocks to world commodity prices, using monthly IMF data on primary commodities between 1957–98. We find that shocks to commodity prices are typically long–lasting and the variability of the persistence of price shocks is quite wide. The paper also discusses the implications of these findings for national and international schemes to stabilize earnings from commodity exports and finds that if price shocks are long–lived, then the cost of stabilization schemes will likely exceed any associated smoothing benefits.
Mr. Marcos Poplawski Ribeiro, Ms. Darlena Tartari Schwegler, and Carlos Caceres
This paper analyses inflation dynamics in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) using a constructed dataset for country-specific commodity price indices and panel cointegrated vector autoregressive (VAR) models. Imported commodity price shocks are significant in explaining inflation in the region. Governments are another driving force of inflation dynamics mainly through controlled prices and the role of capital expenditure in domestic activity. In most CEMAC countries, the largest effect of global food and fuel prices occurs after four or five quarters in noncore inflation and then decays substantially over time. Second-round effects are significant only in Cameroon and to a lesser extent in the Republic of Congo.
Le taux de croissance économique de l’Afrique subsaharienne devrait descendre cette année à son plus bas niveau depuis plus de vingt ans, en raison d’un environnement extérieur moins porteur et d’une réaction insuffisante de la part des pouvoirs publics. Globalement, la région connaît en fait une croissance économique à deux vitesses : tandis que la plupart des pays peu tributaires des exportations de ressources naturelles — la moitié des pays de la région — continuent d’enregistrer de bons résultats, car ils bénéficient de la diminution de leur facture pétrolière, de l’amélioration du climat des affaires et de la poursuite des investissements d’infrastructure, la plupart des pays exportateurs de produits de base subissent de graves tensions économiques. C’est le cas en particulier des pays exportateurs de pétrole, dont les perspectives à court terme se sont nettement dégradées ces derniers mois. L’Afrique subsaharienne reste néanmoins une région dont le potentiel économique est immense, mais un ajustement des politiques publiques s’impose d’urgence dans les pays les plus touchés pour permettre un rebond de la croissance.
The economic recovery in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to continue, but at a slower pace than envisaged in October 2018. This weaker outlook reflects domestic and external challenges. On the external side, the global expansion is losing momentum, including in China and the euro area, trade tensions remain elevated, global financial conditions have tightened, and commodity prices are expected to remain low. On the domestic front, security challenges, climate shocks, and policy uncertainty are hampering investment and weighing on economic prospects in several countries. Under current policies, medium-term average growth for the region is expected to continue to fall well short of what is needed to absorb the new entrants to the labor force and to deliver limited gains in living standards.