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International Monetary Fund

Tajikistan’s growth potential is constrained by government interference in markets, and poor energy and transport infrastructure. The report focuses on Tajikistan’s combined 2009 Article IV Consultation, final review under the Staff-Monitored Program, and request for a Three-Year Arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility. Macroeconomic policies may need to be tightened further if external developments turn out worse than currently projected. Alternatively, additional donor support could ease the domestic adjustment burden.

International Monetary Fund

This paper discusses key findings of the Third and Fourth Reviews Under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) for Iraq. Economic growth in 2006 was below target because oil production did not increase as projected. This reflected lower-than-planned investment and the lack of security. Inflation increased to 65 percent in 2006 to December 2006. This was mainly owing to shortages of key commodities, caused in part by the ongoing insurgency. The underlying rate of inflation has also remained high.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The Article IV consultation with Senegal was completed by the Executive Board on December 10, 2012. In concluding the 2012 Article IV consultation, executive directors commended Senegal’s satisfactory program implementation despite the challenging internal and external environments. They stressed that although a moderate pickup in growth is expected in the near term, the economy remains exposed to substantial risks. Directors welcomed the authorities’ continued commitment to their program to ensure macroeconomic stability, strengthen the economy’s resilience to shocks, foster higher and sustainable growth, and reduce poverty. Directors noted that, while Senegal still faces a low risk of debt distress, high fiscal deficits and rising debt ratios need to be addressed.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper examines the implications of lower crude oil prices on Malaysia’s economy. Although Malaysia’s net oil exports are now very small as a share of GDP, its gas exports are sizeable. The paper provides some background on the structure of energy production and trade in Malaysia, and presents results from empirical analysis of the oil prices on Malaysia’s growth. It is concluded that the decline in prices is likely to have a net negative impact on growth, even though the recent decline in oil prices partially reflects supply considerations.
Uwe Böwer
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in Emerging Europe’s economies, notably in the energy and transport sectors. Based on a new firm-level dataset, this paper reviews the SOE landscape, assesses SOE performance across countries and vis-à-vis private firms, and evaluates recent SOE governance reform experience in 11 Emerging European countries, as well as Sweden as a benchmark. Profitability and efficiency of resource allocation of SOEs lag those of private firms in most sectors, with substantial cross-country variation. Poor SOE performance raises three main risks: large and risky contingent liabilities could stretch public finances; sizeable state ownership of banks coupled with poor governance could threaten financial stability; and negative productivity spillovers could affect the economy at large. SOE governance frameworks are partly weak and should be strengthened along three lines: fleshing out a consistent ownership policy; giving teeth to financial oversight; and making SOE boards more professional.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that recent economic developments in Azerbaijan have been favorable. In 2013, a stabilization of oil output and strong non-oil growth at nearly 10 percent helped lift overall GDP growth to 5.8 percent. Inflation remained low, averaging 2.4 percent, restrained by soft food prices and a stable exchange rate. The impact of regional market turbulence in early 2014 has been limited, with few signs of lower manat demand or capital flight. Economic prospects over the near and medium term are positive, if underpinned by fiscal consolidation and supported by reforms to spur non-oil private sector activity.