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Abstract

Edited by Said El-Naggar, this book contains six papers presented at a seminar held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, under the sponsorship of the Arab Monetary Fund and the IMF. The papers address the issues of adjustment and development in the Arab World, including the role of the IMF and the World Bank, and include case studies on Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco.

Abstract

This Selected Issues paper discusses the assessment of economic activity in Togo in absence of quarterly GDP series. Togo collects about 40 macroeconomic indicators monthly that span a wide range of sectors of the economy. The selection of the variables for the economic activity index is conducted by finding the combination of variables. The indicators are aggregated into an index using a methodology used by the Conference Board. Then an economic activity index is constructed that effectively replicates the historical growth rates of real GDP in Togo. The selected index minimizes the deviations between the growth rates of the indicator and actual real GDP growth over 2002–13.

Mr. Zubair Iqbal

This paper discusses quantitative indicators that measure such macroeconomic variables as the growth of national product, inflation. The importance of considering several indicators in a dynamic context becomes particularly relevant during periods when needed economic and financial adjustment measures are undertaken. Rationales given for maintaining negative real interest rates in developing countries range from keeping down the cost of servicing the public sector’s debt, or of investment, to avoiding the consequences of other policies.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper examines the policy of protectionism in world trade. It reviews alternatives to trade restrictions, factors influencing trade policies, and implications of protection for developing countries. The paper highlights that the rise in protectionist pressures is worrisome, because the likelihood of chain reactions toward more protectionism generated by individual restrictive actions is greatest in a setting of slow economic growth and highly interdependent economies. The paper also analyzes capital utilization in the manufacturing enterprises.

Mr. Ulrich Baumgartner, Mr. G. G. Johnson, K. Burke Dillon, R. C. Williams, Mr. Peter M Keller, Maria Tyler, Bahram Nowzad, Mr. G. Russell Kincaid, and Mr. Tomás Reichmann

Abstract

The external indebtedness of non-oil developing countries has been of growing concern in recent years. Several factors have brought the debt issue to the forefront of the problems facing a number of countries, including the rapid rise in extenal debt in the recent past, changes in the composition of debt (toward a greater proportion owed to commercial banks) and the attendant deterioration in the terms of debt, and the rise in debt service resulting from these developments.

Mr. P. van den Boogaerde

Abstract

Arab financial assistance to developing - particularly Arab - countries rose sharply between 1973 and 1980 but fell gradually through the 1980s, owing mainly to weakening oil prices. As a percent of GNP, however, Arab contributions remain the largest among major donors. This paper surveys the volume and distribution of Arab financing from 1973 to 1989.

John A. Holsen

The non-oil middle-income developing countries have so far been remarkably successful in cushioning the effects of both the recession and their worsened terms of trade through increased international borrowing. This article suggests that they have the ability to maintain a reasonably high rate of growth over the medium term, while progressively reducing their reliance upon external borrowing as their exports expand. Success will depend heavily upon internal policies in these countries, as well as upon trends in the world economy.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
Fiscal consolidation, additional reserve buildup, and higher growth are key program objectives for the Jordanian authorities. Despite the socially difficult elimination of the fuel subsidy, program performance was mixed. Initiatives to strengthen banking supervision and develop capital markets are important. The program addresses economic imbalances and safeguards social stability. Executive Directors are satisfied with the action taken to rebuild reserves through an increase in interest rates and by attracting donor funds, as well as domestic dollar-denominated financing. The government is committed to working on steps to boost revenue.
International Monetary Fund
Lebanon is facing a difficult global, regional, and domestic environment simultaneously for the first time in more than a decade. Domestic policies should aim at instilling confidence and tackling key policy challenges, such as preserving macroeconomic stability and paving the way for a more resilient, dynamic, and inclusive economy. The Banque du Liban (BdL) relied on its large foreign reserves build-up during the upswing to intervene forcefully when the Lebanese pound came under pressure from deposit outflows and currency conversions in the wake of the government crisis.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This paper focuses on Jordan’s 2014 Article IV Consultation, Third and Fourth Reviews Under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), Request for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criterion (PC) and Applicability of PCs. The program is broadly on track and, looking forward, will focus on deep tax reform. All end-2013 targets were met. The central government is expected to meet its end-March 2014 target, but the combined public sector deficit will be missed because of temporary shortfalls in gas delivery from Egypt. International reserves have continued to over-perform through March. The IMF staff supports the completion of the third and fourth reviews.