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MIGUEL SCHLOSS

A major portion of sub-Saharan Africa’s foreign exchange earnings are devoted to the procurement of petroleum. This situation could be ameliorated: a revamping of policies and practices in hydrocarbons procurement and distribution could yield savings in the region of an amount significantly greater than yearly net disbursements of World Bank loans and credits to all the continent combined.

International Monetary Fund
This paper examines Gabon’s request for a Stand-By Arrangement in support of its economic program. The arrangement provides access at 50 percent of quota. Given its strong balance of payments position, it intends to treat the arrangement as precautionary. Gabon is ineligible for support under the Policy Support Instrument, which is limited to Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility-eligible countries. The critical objectives of the government’s program are to prepare the economy for the post-oil era and to make decisive progress in poverty reduction.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on the Arab Republic of Egypt examines the dynamic relationship between the nominal exchange rate and prices during Egypt’s exit from a managed exchange rate regime. The exit from the peg went through several phases, including a series of step devaluations between 2000 and 2002, a first attempt at a float in January 2003, and the successful transition to a unified, flexible exchange rate system in late-2004. From 2000 to 2004, the Egyptian pound experienced a cumulative depreciation of 68 percent against the U.S. dollar.
Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, Mr. Mehdi Raissi, and Maziar Raissi
We employ a set of sign restrictions on the generalized impulse responses of a Global VAR model, estimated for 38 countries/regions over the period 1979Q2–2011Q2, to discriminate between supply-driven and demand-driven oil-price shocks and to study the time profile of their macroeconomic effects for different countries. The results indicate that the economic consequences of a supply-driven oil-price shock are very different from those of an oil-demand shock driven by global economic activity, and vary for oil-importing countries compared to energy exporters. While oil importers typically face a long-lived fall in economic activity in response to a supply-driven surge in oil prices, the impact is positive for energy-exporting countries that possess large proven oil/gas reserves. However, in response to an oil-demand disturbance, almost all countries in our sample experience long-run inflationary pressures and a short-run increase in real output.
Mr. Nooman Rebei and Rashid Sbia
This paper documents the determinants of real oil price in the global market based on SVAR model embedding transitory and permanent shocks on oil demand and supply as well as speculative disturbances. We find evidence of significant differences in the propagation mechanisms of transitory versus permanent shocks, pointing to the importance of disentangling their distinct effects. Permanent supply disruptions turn out to be a bigger factor in historical oil price movements during the most recent decades, while speculative shocks became less influential.
Erik De Vrijer, Udo Kock, and Mr. David A. Grigorian

Although Iraq continues to experience perilous conditions, the IMF said its economy has improved over the past two years, and a new arrangement with the IMF will help the war-shattered economy move toward sustainable growth.