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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
The September 2008 issue examines key issues facing low-income countries, including how they should respond to high oil and food prices. Some African economies are now successfully attracting international investors and are seen as a new tier of "frontier" emerging markets. Separate articles look at problems of aid effectiveness, aid predictability, and aid fragmentation. Other articles include an account by Eswar S. Prasad and Raghuram G. Rajan of their new report on financial sector reforms in India; Martin Ravallion and Dominique van de Walle draw lessons on reducing poverty from Vietnam's agrarian reforms; Sanjeev Gupta and Shamsuddin Tareq make a strong case for sub-Saharan countries to mobilize their domestic revenue bases. In addition, Simon Willson profiles Beatrice Weder di Mauro, the first woman on Germany's Council of Economic Experts; and the outgoing IMF Chief Economic Simon Johnson talks about the new drivers of global growth-emerging markets.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

Asia recorded another year of strong growth in 2006, and the prospects are for the favorable economic performance to continue into 2007. That said, there has been somewhat less rebalancing of growth than expected, which leaves much of the region exposed to changes in external conditions. Indeed, weaker U.S. growth in recent quarters and ongoing inventory corrections led to a loss in export momentum in late 2006. Lower oil prices combined with modest domestic demand growth have helped to reduce inflation pressures in parts of the region, while overheating as well as real estate and equity price rises are a concern in some economies. Real sector risks have diminished in line with a more balanced G-3 growth profile. Meanwhile, financial risks are seen to have risen somewhat owing to possible spillovers from weakness in the U.S. mortgage market.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

Gross cross-border capital flows in emerging Asia12 have grown significantly over the past decade, rising from about US$270 billion to US$830 billion.13 Such flows—into and out of Asia as well as within the region—bring many benefits and help facilitate economic growth and development. They reflect greater real and financial integration in the region, as well as the strengthening and development of financial institutions and markets. At the same time, sudden shifts in flows have, in the past, caused economic problems in many parts of Asia and in other emerging markets. These include macroeconomic imbalances such as the rapid appreciation of the real exchange rate; unproductive or imprudent investment, including in some cases asset price bubbles; destabilizing effects from sudden stops or outflows in capital; and risks associated with high levels of leverage. Recently, policymakers and economists in the region have expressed concerns that strong capital inflows might be leading to some of these problems, especially with regard to the rapid appreciation of exchange rates.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

In the past several years, authorities in a number of Asian countries have implemented, or are considering implementing, policies to deal with rising housing prices and attendant risks. In India and Korea, the focus has been on tightening prudential regulations on real-estate-related finance. In Australia and New Zealand, monetary policy is shaped in part by concerns that rising housing prices could lead to domestic demand overheating and overall inflationary pressures. And in several countries, there is growing emphasis on increasing the public supply of housing or attempting to influence housing markets via tax and other structural measures.

International Monetary Fund

This 2004 Article IV Consultation highlights that the three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility arrangement for Vietnam expired in April 2004. During the arrangement, Vietnam maintained strong economic growth and low inflation, and achieved further poverty reduction, supported by favorable macroeconomic conditions and increasing integration with the world economy facilitated by trade liberalization. For 2004 as a whole, economic growth and the external current account are likely to be broadly unchanged from 2003, with inflation falling toward the end of the year and the budget deficit narrowing.

International Monetary Fund

Overall, macroeconomic performance has remained strong since the conclusion of the last Article IV Consultation. The authorities have introduced market-opening legislation in line with WTO requirements, but state-owned commercial banks (SOCBs) and state-owned enterprise (SOE) reforms remained uneven. The short-term outlook is broadly positive, but medium-term prospects are subject to risks. IMF staff supports the State Bank of Vietnam’s (SBV’s) plan to establish a more flexible exchange rate regime. The balance of payments has remained in surplus.