International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This paper highlights the sources of payments problems in less developed countries. Growth in the industrial countries has a direct impact on the current account of the developing countries through its influence on both the prices and volumes of their exports. An increase in the real effective exchange rate is clearly a fundamental determinant of a deteriorating current account since, other things being equal, it tends to raise domestic demand for imports and to reduce foreign demand for exports.
The Q&A in this issue features seven questions about policy options for emerging market countries (by Marcos Chamon, Chris Crowe, and Jun Il Kim); research summaries on “Does Trade and Financial Globalization Cause Income Inequality?” (by Chris Papageorgiou) and “The Current Account of Oil-Exporting Countries (by Irineu E. de Carvalho Filho); an article on the launch of the IMF’s new research journal, IMF Economic Review, and the contents of the upcoming IMF Staff Papers, which the new the new journal will succeed in 2010; an article on the upcoming Tenth Annual Jacques Polak Research Conference; a listing of visiting scholars at the IMF during July–September 2009; and listings of recent IMF Working Papers and Staff Position Notes.
This paper studies the role of domestic and foreign savings in financing capital formation in 19 industrial countries during the years after World War II. The authors' interpretation of the statistical evidence is that there is very little support for the view that, over the medium term, goods and services freed by savings in one industrial country are systematically made available through current account imbalances to finance investment in physical capital in other industrial countries. The study also finds little support for the view that the integration of financial capital markets in recent years has altered the relationships among domestic savings, investment, and current account imbalances in industrial countries. The evidence suggests that changes in net foreign assets, and the associated current account imbalances, were no more sensitive to cross-country differences in rates of return on physical capital in the ten years ending in 1981 than they had been in the 1950s, when extensive capital controls and trade restrictions hampered the economic integration of the industrial countries.
The Iranian economy recovered on the strength of international oil prices, strong rebound in agricultural sector, and rapid credit expansion. Inflation was contained while fiscal and external positions improved. Key policy priorities are to maintain short-term macroeconomic stability, transition to a market-based economy to foster growth, and support job creation; and strengthen the financial sector. The economic reform strategy, anchored in privatization, reduction of the role of government, and market-based prices for energy and agricultural goods should help achieve higher growth and create jobs.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
The Middle East and Central Asia is undergoing a remarkable transformation driven by rapid GDP growth and high oil and non-oil commodity prices. The report presents common economic trends and reviews prospects and policies for the coming year in light of the global economic environment. This latest REO includes boxes treating both regional topics--such as growth in the Maghreb countries; developments in the oil markets; the boom in the GCC countries, and the impact of the recent global credit squeeze on the region--and country-specific reviews, of Kazakhstan, Armenia, Egypt, Pakistan, and the UAE.