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Huy Nguyen and Miss Randa Sab
This study focuses on identifying the main factors that influenced country-specific and aggregate demand for IMF concessional financing between 1986 and 2018 and makes within-period and out-of-period forecasts. We find that the external debt level, inflation, and real effective exchange rate are the main economic variables influencing concessional borrowing for most eligible countries. Finally, our approach is able to provide quite accurate country-level and aggregate forecasts for historical financing events prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected Benin. The authorities’ early and decisive action has helped stave off the spread of the virus, and a sizeable fiscal response has kept a recession at bay. Nevertheless, the economy has suffered a substantial downgrade in its economic outlook, with growth slowing down from 6.9 percent in 2019 to 2 percent in 2020, against an initial projection of 7 percent before the pandemic. Large financing needs, opened by the authorities’ fiscal response to the crisis, have given rise to an urgent balance of payments need.
Ms. Anja Baum, Paulo Medas, Alberto Soler, and Mouhamadou Sy
Ensuring that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are efficient and managed prudently is important for economic and social reasons. It is also crucial to contain fiscal risks and reduce the burden on taxpayers from recurrent and large bailouts. Governments need to develop stronger capacity to monitor and mitigate the risks from SOEs. We present a risk tool to benchmark the performance of SOEs relative to their peers and assess their vulnerabilities, including through stress tests. A strategy to mitigate risks requires the right incentives for managers to perform and for government agencies to conduct effective oversight. Incorporating SOEs in overall fiscal targets would promote greater fiscal discipline and transparency.